Christmas time, mistletoe and wine; the latter of which can cause differing headaches for employees and employers as we enter the season of Christmas parties.

Most people will hopefully enjoy their nights out but for some that night out spills over into the following day and this is where problems can start. As an employer you can prevent some problems in advance. If possible, arrange the work’s night out for when the following day is not a working day. If you can’t do that then make sure that staff know what they should do if they have been out drinking at the work’s party the night before and might be at risk of being over the limit for the commute the following morning. This could be to offer in advance a working from home day, a later than normal start time or to take the day as annual leave. Planning and communication here are key.

Unfortunately, due to excess alcohol some people lose their judgement completely and show up for work drunk the morning after a night out. If that happens, take the member of staff into a private room somewhere away from colleagues and customers. Your first thought should ideally be for their wellbeing, you could call a taxi to get them home safely, you could take them home yourself or contact their next of kin and ask if they can collect them.

The issue shouldn’t be left there though and you need to have a conversation with the member of staff to understand more about the circumstances of what happened and why they decided to attend work while drunk. Is there an underlying issue or perhaps even addiction? Is this a one off or part of a pattern of behaviour? Ultimately this is a conduct issue, and may need to be dealt with via your disciplinary process.  However, you need to strike a balance between being supportive and running a professional business and knowing your staff well will help to guide you in this.

If in doubt give the team at CUBE HR a call and we’ll talk you through your options.

Do you have questions about drinking dilemmas for employers?

Give us a call at CUBE HR, we’ll be happy to advise you and we have policies and templates available to meet every HR need.

Why not check out our other blog on the same topic Party Season – 3 Things You Need to Know