What Happens At The Business Christmas Party Can Last Long Into The New Year

It’s company Christmas party season again and businesses across Australia are celebrating the end of the year with staff, clients and suppliers.

Whether you are holding your business Christmas party at work, a venue or a restaurant, if the party is being paid for by the business, the party is considered an extension of your workplace.

That means you are responsible for keeping everyone safe.

These days, being “safe” is not restricted to physical safety. It includes safety from sexual harassment, verbal abuse, discrimination and bullying.

There is nothing like free alcohol to encourage people to behave badly! Airing grievances and personality clashes, saying or doing the wrong thing and generally behaving inappropriately are frequently blamed on excessive drinking.

But the Fair Work Commission doesn’t consider excuses like “I was drunk” as a legitimate reason for a staff member to be harassed, abused or mistreated by another guest or employee. As the business owner and host of the celebrations, it’s up to you to keep everyone safe.

Here are 3 tips to help you manage alcohol consumption at your work Christmas party.

Tip 1 – Warn Staff

Often all it takes is an explanation to staff that while you hope they have a great time, the Christmas party is considered an extension of the workplace. That means the same rules apply including:

  • The company’s policy on alcohol consumption
  • Their personal responsibility to avoid drinking to excess
  • Any inappropriate behaviour e.g. harassing, bullying or discriminating comments or actions
  • Legal driving limits
Tip 2 – Offer Non-Alcoholic Options

You must ensure you provide staff with non-alcoholic drink options. At a minimum, the ratio should be 50-50. However, if you are planning activities such as dancing or playing sport OR if your party is held on a particularly hot day, increase the ratio of soft drinks.

Tip 3 – Limit Temptation

Even with the best of intentions, things can go wrong so try to minimise the risk by:
  • Limiting the duration of the Christmas party to 2-4 hours to give guests less drinking time
  • Don’t hang mistletoe or expect people to sit on Santa’s lap
  • Ensure the Responsible Service of Alcohol guidelines are followed at all times
  • Always provide food and for parties lasting 2+ hours, serve a meal
Keep your Christmas party fun!

Christmas parties should be fun for everyone but it takes planning and thought to ensure your business’ Christmas celebrations are a safe place for all staff. Before you head off to the company Christmas party, make sure you seek advice on your employer responsibilities. Don’t delay. Call End2End Business Solutions today on 02 8977 4002.