Welcome to part 7 in our “12 tips to Christmas!”  This is a mini survival guide which both business owners and employees may find useful to get them through the festive season without too much trouble!

Tip 7 – Alcohol Consumption

Over the festive period, it is often the case that employers wish to reward their staff for their loyalty and hard work over the year and may choose to operate a free bar at the Christmas party. Whilst this is generous of employers, it does also carry risks, particularly if some employees have over indulged. It is not unheard of for some employees to have spent hours drinking alcohol at a free-bar operated by their employer at a work-event, which has subsequently resulted in them behaving inappropriately and then being subject to disciplinary action. In one case, a group of employees got so drunk at a work-event that they ended up fighting with each other and were later dismissed by their employer. They succeeded in arguing that their dismissals were unfair and one of the relevant factors was that the employer had provided a free bar and therefore condoned their behavior. Therefore, an employer may wish to consider restricting the amount of free alcohol available and be prepared to ask individuals to take it easy if they seem “a little worse for wear.” One good tip is to provide food as that apparently helps to reduce the intake of alcohol!

Also, employers should be mindful about younger staff members, as employers cannot allow under-18’s to drink. Further, an employer should remember that not everyone drinks alcohol (for whatever reason) and to provide a selection of non-alcoholic beverages to ensure that the event is inclusive.

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