Office Christmas party : what rules are applicable for companies.

Starting in December, most of small, medium and large enterprises organize their office Christmas party. Even it’s an occasion for colleagues to find themselves in a child-like mood, far from professional chores, this event has to be well organized and has to respect all the rules that apply if you want everything to go smooth and well.

Alcohol prevention in a corporate environment

According to the Act respecting occupational health and safety, an employer has to take the necessary measures to protect the health and safety of their employee at all times. That’s why, even during an office party, security measure must be put in place to prevent any damage that alcohol(consumed either at the office or an event organised by the company) may cause.

To prevent risk linked to organizing a Christmas party, the employer and the organizing committee have to identify the risks.  We have to put everything in place to eliminate or controle the most important risks, like our guest’s high alcohol levels. Because your party still needs to be fun, you don’t want to remove alcohol completely from the equation. You can offer to limit the alcohol consumption or to distribute breath test to your guests to limit the risk of accidents. You can even decide to stop serving alcohol a few hours before the party end, a Red nose service or simply inviting them to prepare a ride home beforehand.

In all cases, the employer must be aware that if he provides alcohol for his employees, he’s responsible for their safety and well-being even out of the office or working hours.


  • What not to do: Have an open bar at your office Christmas party. At the risk to be repeating ourselves, the ideal situation is to reduce as much as possible the risk related to alcohol consumption. It can cause physical injuries or car accidents; it can taint the party atmosphere and the team spirit. When alcohol flows, discussions or gestures can rapidly escalate and become inappropriate.
  • What you should do:
    • Offer water regularly and have a water fountain on hand
    • Reserve a red-nose or taxi service beforehand
    • Limit the number of drinks per person
    • Stop serving drinks after a certain time
    • Distribute breathalysers to your guests
    • Reserve room in an hotel to host your event and negotiate special rates for your employees, some employers even go as far as paying for their employees hotel room to promote their safety
    • Etc

For an employer, it’s not easy to ask he party committee to supervise the event all their colleagues’ alcohol consumption all night long. To prevent risks during your Christmas party, while everyone is enjoying the party, it’s possible to call an event planner that will know how to prevent and control alcohol abuse as well as the rest of the party’s organization.

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