The preparations for your office Christmas Party are likely to be in full swing. Your staff are probably deciding between the turkey or fish option on the menu and planning their outfits for the party. Are you as prepared to deal with the consequences of alcohol overindulgence at the party?
There are a number of steps you can take to make sure your office Christmas Party is enjoyed by all and everyone is kept safe on the night and for the day after.
1. Encourage your employees to think about their travel arrangements after the party.
Remember as an employer you still have a duty of care to your employees at company events, so it is a good idea encourage them to plan ahead for how they will be getting home safely after the party.
They can be thinking about things like:
- Booking a taxi in advance to pick them up from the party.
- Organising for a friend or family member to pick them (and their friends) up from the party.
- Arranging a designated driver who will not drink alcohol during the party.
- Working out where and when any suitable public transport can be used.
- Organising a minibus to transport a group of friends.
2. Remind everyone about the dangers of still being over the drink drive limit the next morning.
The body’s processes take some time to remove alcohol from its systems. This can mean that after particularly heavy drinking the amount of alcohol in a person’s blood (and therefore the effect that it has on them) can still be significant the following morning. This could mean that someone driving the morning after the Christmas party could have an alcohol level in their bodies above the drink drive limit, which could result in them being fined, banned from driving or imprisoned if they cause an accident. There is also an increased risk of accidents if a driver has alcohol in their system below the drink drive limit.
Road safety charities like Brake have very helpful information about the dangers of still being over the alcohol limit the following morning, and even provide a calculator to give an idea about how long it takes to be safe to drive after the night before’s drinking.
3. Point out that unacceptable behaviour at a Christmas party will not be tolerated.
As the Christmas party is a company event, the conduct of members of staff is covered by the appropriate company policies like harassment, grievance, health & safety, code of conduct. Breaches of these policies at the Christmas party could still lead to disciplinary action.
4. Those who need to work the next day need to make sure they are fit for work.
Make sure everyone is aware that turning up to work the day after the Christmas party whilst still under the influence of alcohol from the night before is in breach of the company drug and alcohol policy.