It’s a common misconception that, if an employer hosts a party or event at a commercial venue such as a hotel or pub, then only that hotel or pub would be liable for any injuries arising from the party.

As an employer, if you’re hosting an event, you could very well be liable for injuries arising from your employees overindulging at the party. It’s important as an employer to take practical steps to monitor your employee’s consumption and reduce the risk of those employees becoming injured. However there are many steps an employer can take to reduce their liability, and of course, ensure that their employees are going to have a safe evening.

First of all, it’s important for the employer to have a written policy that is communicated to the employees and sets out the employer’s expectations for the evening. If you are sending out invitations, it’s a good idea to ensure that there is a set location and a set time, and a cutoff point in the evening for alcohol being provided. Employers also should provide transportation and accommodation, so it’s a good idea to provide tickets or vouchers for taxis and hotels. Furthermore, it’s crucial for employers to take the extra step and actually ensure that their employees get home safely, or at least into the care of someone who is trusted, responsible and sober.  

As an employer, you may also wish to designate one employee, usually a manager or supervisor, to keep tabs on all the other employees, making sure they are safe and that nobody is overindulging. At least one member of the company should remain completely sober so that proper care and attention can be paid to the other employees at the party