Employers Obligations: End of Year Office Party for a Merry Time!

As the festive mood is set in, soon there will be end of the year parties lined up. One of the party will also be held at work. Since the year is coming to an end, employees like to loosen themselves for the coming holiday season. The end-of-year celebration is something that every employee looks forward to after they have worked hard for the entire year. The same party that brings joy can also be a source of anxiety for an employer. There are a few party obligations every boss must keep in mind for the safety of their employees.

End of the year party has its fair share of fun, laughter, drinks and good food. But, there are also other things that aren’t written but do tend to creep up during office parties. Now because it’s a celebration and everyone wants to relax and have fun, it does not mean that everything is forgiven and forgotten. As an employer, it is necessary to keep in mind that the occasion does not matter because even if it’s a celebration, it is still a formal place and there is a certain code of conduct that needs to be followed.

An employee may not know about it, or it could be that they would avoid following it. But, it is an employer’s obligation to his employees to see to it that no one crosses the line. It is necessary for the employers to make sure that their employees understand the behavior and conduct expected of them. The employer must also make them aware of the repercussions that could follow unwanted behavior.

End of Year Office Party for a Merry Time

For whatever that may go down during office parties, it is the employer who is legally responsible for any discrimination, inappropriate behavior or even sexual harassment that takes place at work. You could ask why these obligations are necessary, but what if someone gets too drunk, falls and hits his head badly resulting in a concussion. Or what if an employee slips his hands under someone’s skirt? What to do when two drunk employees who don’t like each other, fight at the party? There are chances that an employee drinks and drives. It’s not necessary that they happen all the time, but one cannot negate the chances.

Keeping in mind the obligations of an employer, it is necessary for them to be on their toes, constantly alert and on the look-out for his/her employee’s safety and health. At such times, there are few things that every employer needs to keep in mind while planning for celebrations.

Be Warned!

Sending memos to everyone before the party is one of the best ways to avoid unwanted behavior on their part. The memo must warn them about the code of conduct, how much alcohol will be served, etc. Not only does the memo serve as a reminder to the employees about their obligations, but also encourages them to be responsible and safe. The memo can also mention the penalty one might have to pay if they overstep their boundaries.

Where’s the Party?

It is important to book a venue which is safe and well lit. In shady bars and clubs, there are chances that the employees could get carried away into the mood of being a little shady. Such venues often inspire employees to drink more and indulge in an uncivilized behavior. In order to avoid any unnecessary issues cropping up, the employer must always select a place which is decent.

It is always better to conduct a party at the workplace so that employees know where they are and how they need to behave. You could deck up the office and give it some fun vibes in order to make it look welcoming. Apart from that, if you want to keep it at some other place, then it is important to know whether they ensure safe service of alcohol. It is important to keep in mind whether the ambiance is of a sort which encourages the appropriate or inappropriate behavior.

Food, Glorious Food!

An employer must always first see to it that good food is arranged for and in large quantities. When drinks are involved, it is important that some lip-smacking, wholesome food is ordered so that employees can eat and the effect of the alcohol isn’t that strong. When there are small servings of food, the risk of people drinking more is higher. This could also result in inappropriate behavior and chances of someone getting hurt are also higher. If the food budget is not much, then it is advisable to reduce the alcohol budget. Also, when it is good, expensive food, many would prefer eating such high-end quality food which they wouldn’t normally get a chance to eat. The employer must also provide an option of non-alcoholic drinks.


A good way to avoid drunk-and-drive issues, an employer can always provide taxi vouchers. Many organizations follow this system in order to prevent any mishaps taking place on the road. This way, the company can be safe from not being worried about the safety of their employees on roads. Another way of ending the party faster is to organize taxi pools. Not only do employees leave in large groups, but can also manage each other if one or two get a little too much to drink.

Office parties are fun and we don’t mean to scare you, but it is always better to be prepared for the worse than to let it happen and look for solutions. We hope you enjoy your end of the year party. These office party obligations are not just for you but for the safety of every employee in your office. Remember that any issues which take place in the confines of an office or an official gathering, the management stands to lose because the blame comes on them. Party safe, celebrate happily, be merry, for these days won’t be coming back for at least another year. (wink, wink)

Priyansha Mistry
Currently editor at The HR Digest Magazine. She helps HR professionals identify issues with their talent management and employment law. | Priyansha tweets at @PriyanshaMistry

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