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How To Prevent A Christmas Party Hangover That Lasts All Year

Published December 13, 2021 -
christmas work party

It’s time for the annual workplace Christmas get together! To mark another year of work completed, and to celebrate the exciting year ahead!

Unfortunately, sometimes the hangover from the Christmas party, doesn’t just last a few days… Every January, businesses all over New Zealand may have the unfortunate task of having to manage the fallout from the Christmas party. Incidents can often centre around common themes such as getting drunk and getting into a fight, getting drunk and trying to kiss a colleague, getting drunk and doing an impromptu striptease, and the perennial favourite, getting drunk and telling the boss why they are an idiot…

The Number One Issue

The common theme that ignites the bad incidents is usually too much to drink. For many people, it wouldn’t really be a party without a drink or two. Yes, that’s fine if it stops there, the problem arises when alcohol is freely available all night. Sometimes a system needs to be in place that tweaks the amount or timing of the alcohol. For example, many companies will issue drink tickets in an attempt to limit consumption, what can happen is that people who want to drink more, will simply get tickets from the people who don’t drink.

Here are some planning suggestions to minimise your risk around alcohol consumption:

  • Hand out limited drinks at the beginning only e.g. two cans of Beer, RDT or Cider.
  • Only serve low alcohol drinks e.g., maximum 5% such as RTDs, Beer, low alcohol Wines and Cider.
  • Keep everyone busy e.g. games, quizzes, karaoke. You can’t drink AND run in a sack race!
  • Enjoy an afternoon tea at a hotel, rather than a boozy affair, thus avoid alcohol altogether.
  • Have a drink limit, but the person on the bar keeps tally…
  • Appoint one person to monitor drinking, who will step in early if things are getting out of hand.

So, unless you want to spend the Christmas break drafting invitations to disciplinary meetings, it is wise to put some rules in place and set expectations before the event.

Planning Around COVID

It’s important to plan around the COVID restrictions in your region. You might have to get creative with your party planning, but there are plenty of options to reduce your COVID risks, such as PEP, infection control policies, vaccinations, and virtual parties.       

Next Steps

With all these changes in mind, it’s vital that you have the right planning and documentation to reset expectations and minimise risk. Employsure Face2Face can assist you in:

  • Reviewing your policies to check that they cover any situation
  • Proactively communicating the policies and expectations to employees
  • Undertaking risk assessments for events and preventing excess alcohol consumption
  • Assist with any disciplinary meetings that arise over this period

Our Face2Face Business Partners can assist you, either onsite or via video conference. We can review your policies, assist with risk assessment, and develop documentation to give you the best chance of a drama-free holiday period. current Clients please give us a call on 0800657697 today. And if you’re new to Employsure and need some of our free initial advice, please call 0800568012.

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About Employsure

Employsure is one of New Zealand’s largest workplace relations advisers to small- and medium-businesses, with over 30,000 clients in ANZ. We take the complexity out of workplace legislation to help small business employers protect their business and their people.

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