Why some workplaces are banning the booze from their Christmas parties

The work year is almost at a close and the Christmas season is near, which means many companies will be gathering their colleagues to reminisce together over a drink or two.

But it seems more employers are ditching the usual boozy Christmas party, swapping it for more tame celebrations in a move to prevent "bad behaviour".

In the last few years, Jackson Industries has cut booze from its Christmas parties.

Amanda Morgan says the alcohol-free gatherings are safer and less likely to cause problems.

"People have very different perceptions around alcohol. One person's glass of wine might be someone's three rum and Cokes at breakfast time."

She says she doesn't see that alcohol has a place in the business.

It seems more employers are moving away from alcohol-fuelled parties.

Party planner Christine Sorensen has noticed the change recently, with companies taking a more family-friendly approach.

"Companies are planning more of a family event, where the partners or kids can come along and we sort of have team building things that can be set up in a park."

The #MeToo movement has been linked to this change as well, with the spotlight being placed on sexual harassment and workplace behaviour.

Kim Campbell from the Employers and Manufactures Association (EMA) says those issues have always been a concern, but the movement has forced employers to be more cautious.

"It's a good thing that people are now fronting up to things in a more open and transparent way."

The EMA is now offering advice to employers on how to approach any parties and ensure everyone stays safe.

He says it doesn't mean bosses should ban booze altogether at Christmas parties, but that employers can land themselves in a whole lot of trouble if workers aren't kept safe.


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