Social Lubricant

It’s the festive season and I think the title says it all for the employee, however what are the implications for the employer and/or manager?  Lots, in this day and age where you can be sued for looking at a person the wrong way where does the liability of an employer cease on the day of the work Xmas party or break up?
Certainly there is a duty of care to ensure all staff are safe (standard OH&S policies) however does that cease at the end of the party? Simple answer is NO.  Employers and managers have a duty of care to ensure that their staff make it home to their family safe.  I think this is straight forward logic, however it gets tricky when you consider alcohol and safety.
Do you only have a duty of care to get staff home safely after a party where alcohol is served or also after normal work days?  I haven’t seen much about this, however I am sure there is some form of negligence law to cover the normal work day.  How does an employer/manager carry out their duty of care after the work Xmas party?  Is a simple cab charge to get home sufficient?  It’s a start but is it enough?  With my employee hat on, I think yes.  I am willing to take responsibilty for my own safety if I have been provided with a cab charge even if I am under the influence of social lubricant.
As a manager of staff over a number of years, I have been concerned when staff go all out to consume as much alcohol as possible and clearly would have trouble getting into a taxi and then getting out at the other end.   Should the company be liable what happens to that employee once you have seen them off into the taxi?  Not really sure, I think not, but then I think we the employer/manager have provided that alcohol for that employee to be drunk, so maybe its a yes.
When will liability end?  Being naieve to the issue will only end up a costly mistake for the company and the employee.

About Timothy J. Lakeman

TIMOTHY LAKEMAN is passionate about business owners THRIVING not striving – strategically; financially; and operationally. Timothy’s passion for business stems from having observed his entrepreneurial father in many failed businesses over a number of decades. This fuelled his commitment to ensure all business owners that he works with have a thriving business. Timothy Lakeman has 20 years’ experience working with small to medium sized businesses in the capacity of a senior executive and also as a business owner himself. He has worked throughout Australia, Asia, Middle East and India, and in a variety of industries including Media, Construction and Technology. Timothy is able to draw on his international experiences from a cultural and diversification perspective to drive change in any business to maximise its profit potential and to create a valuable saleable asset into the future. Timothy utilises the practicality of an in-depth financial understanding from being an experienced Chartered Accountant with the academic theories of his Master of Business Administration to partner with business owners to implement and take their businesses to the next level. Timothy loves being a Judge and Mentor as part of the RMIT University Business Plan competition as it allows him to meet and assist the business owners of the future leaving a legacy of Thriving. He also publishes a Business and Entrepreneurial blog discussing the issues relevant to business owners. Book in for a 2 hour free no obligation discovery session with Timothy to take your business to the next level! View all posts by Timothy J. Lakeman

One response to “Social Lubricant

  • jtango18

    The best method to tackle this is to only supply Pilsener because no one will want to drink it, therefore no one will get too drunk, thus reducing liability. A simple solution really.


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