Company holiday parties have begun! And if you plan on serving alcohol, then read on for important information on how this could affect your business.
Regardless of whether a social event takes place during or after work hours, and whether it is held on or off site, the event is considered work-related and the same legal obligations apply. Employers have the obligation to ensure employees’ safety, security and integrity; however, alcohol intake, no matter the quantity, could impede them from doing so.
Unfortunately, alcohol consumption can lead to all kinds of headaches for employers – and we’re not just talking about hangovers! Not only are employees more prone to demonstrate erratic behavior, alcohol consumption may also have a negative impact on the reputation of the company by tarnishing the its image if employees are exhibiting unprofessional behavior in public places.
There is also the obvious danger of drinking and driving. If the safety of the employees and the risk to the public are not enough to incite employers to be proactive in preventing employees from taking the wheel after having drank, it should also be noted that employers can be held liable for damages caused by an employee who drives home drunk from a work function.
6 tips to consider when planning your next social event:
- Restrict or monitor alcohol intake:
- Provide a limited number of coupons per person
- Stop serving alcohol some time prior to the end of the event; or
- Do not serve any alcohol at all
- Provide transportation alternatives:
- Taxi vouchers or reimburse public transport
- Nez Rouge or other similar organizations
- Coordinate carpooling
- Clarify company policy:
- Send a reminder prior to the event about appropriate behavior and transportation alternatives and/or make an announcement the night of the party.
- Any sign of harassment or complaints must be taken seriously so that employers can put an end to it immediately.
- Violence should be treated as a serious offence.
- Do not hesitate to impose disciplinary measures .
- Assign a resource person to monitor the festivities:
- Consider Management or other influential employees.
- Remind managers that they are expected to set an example of professionalism.
- Never allow an employee to drive home drunk.
It is to your utmost advantage to be proactive because you never know what you may be up against when alcohol is stirred with a social event! Enjoy the party!