What can employers do to avoid problems arising from work-related social events?
It is good practice for employers to designate responsibility for supervising work-related social events to specific managers. They should be provided with guidelines on dealing with drunk or disorderly employees. The supervisors should be advised that they themselves are required to stay sober.
While employers might want to provide a couple of free drinks for employees, they should remember that a free bar throughout the event will encourage excessive alcohol intake. It is advisable to limit the supply of free alcohol, and ensure a plentiful supply of low-alcohol alternatives, water and soft drinks.
Employers have a duty of care to employees and must consider how they will get home after work-related social events. They should issue advice in advance of an event about not drinking and driving, and encourage staff to think beforehand about how they will get home. Employers could consider hiring coaches or minibuses to leave at set times towards and at the end of the event, or providing the telephone numbers for local taxi firms.