Workplace events are a great way to build team spirit and round off a busy year. If you’re treating your staff this festive season — especially if you’re serving alcohol — here are some tips to help you be a responsible host while ensuring everyone has a great time.
Putting on a holiday celebration for your employees is a way to say thank you for a busy year.
You may choose to offer alcohol at your event, or allow people to bring their own. If you do choose to include alcohol at your workplace function, make sure it’s supplied in a way that fits with your workplace alcohol policy.
You can create other policies too, including flexible work, leave and holidays, IT and social media, and family violence.
You don’t have to serve alcohol at work events for everyone to have a good time and feel appreciated for their hard work.
Ways to build connection and celebrate a busy year without alcohol might include:
If you do serve alcohol at your work event you must be a responsible host. It’s about helping people enjoy themselves and staying safe while drinking alcohol.
That means providing plenty of food, water and low or non-alcoholic options, ensuring no one drinks alcohol who shouldn’t (eg, anyone under 18 or people driving), and helping people get home safely.
Age and the law(external link) — Alcohol.org.nz
Check if you need an alcohol licence. It will depend on the size of your function, whether it’s open to the public, and whether alcohol is sold or supplied. The alcohol licensing team at your local council should be able to help.
Council maps and websites(external link) — Local Government New Zealand
These tips work well for any event or party, not just work functions. You may want to share them with your staff or anyone else helping you host.
The Health Promotion Agency has a helpful guide to learn more about keeping employees safe when drinking alcohol at work.
Serving alcohol safely at work events [PDF, 137KB](external link) — Alcohol.org.nz
If you work in a safety-sensitive industry, discourage your people from coming to work hungover. Alcohol impairment can last into the next day, creating safety risks for the employee and those working with them. That’s another good reason to limit alcohol, or hold your work do before a non-work day.