Updated: Dec 20, 2021
Christmas is fast approaching! Did you know company health and safety responsibilities extends to the work Christmas party? Even if it is off-site and outside of normal business hours?
Employers organising Christmas parties need to be aware of their health and safety responsibilities. Top Management may be liable if a worker is injured, harmed or harassed at the Christmas staff party
Work Christmas parties are a kiwi tradition and there is no reason that your company can’t enjoy the party without a little planning. Here are some tips to celebrate while keeping safe and healthy.
1. Act Responsibly
Potential injuries and harassments from intoxication are increased risks at Christmas parties. Remind staff of appropriate conduct at the event, this could be communicated before the event via email, on the notice board or on the invite. Using slogans / posters such as “look after your mates” or “please leave your mates behind” (NZ drinking campaign messaging) is a good way to get the message across.
The conversation can be a light hearted reminder of what is appropriate and what isn’t. It will help set the tone for the event. Responsible drinking will help reduce the risk of harassments, assault, abuse and injuries.
2. Know Your Legal Obligations Around Alcohol
Whether you’re going to a pub / restaurant or having a BBQ at work / someones house, be sure you are following the laws around serving alcohol. Ensure no-one drinks alcohol who shouldn’t be (persons under age 18).
You may also want to limit the amount of alcohol to discourage excess consumption or intoxication. Include 1 or 2 free drinks on the company tab and staff are to purchase extra out of their own pocket. Having someone serving drinks can also limit the amount someone may drink.
3. Offer Alcohol Free Alternatives
Have alcohol free alternatives and low-alcohol options available for those who prefer
not to drink, too young to drink, or to help encourage staff to have a alcohol free
alternative to help pace themselves and drink responsibly.
There are some great alternatives available now days, especially in low sugar
alternatives for those who like / require healthier options.