The end of year celebrations are often an opportunity to organize drinks within the company. But these moments of conviviality are governed by certain rules, which it is better to know to avoid making a mistake in front of your colleagues and your superiors.
Teleworking and hybrid organizational modes will not have got the better of the company. A few weeks before the end of the year, colleagues have certainly volunteered to organize the traditional Christmas party. Everyone is invited, including the chefs.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s “open bar”. The Labor Code prohibits the consumption of alcoholic beverages in the office, although it provides for exceptions. It is entirely possible to serve beer, wine, cider or perry during the Christmas drink, with some aperitif cakes.
But don’t expect to be able to dip your lips in whiskey, vodka or any strong distilled alcohol! According to French law, champagne is also prohibited, although it is an essential part of any corporate party.
It is important to know that your employer has every right to limit or prohibit the consumption of alcohol on company premises. Not to annoy his colleagues, but to ensure “their safety and physical and mental health”, as stipulated in the Labor Code.
For good reason, company managers are responsible for the safety of their workers. They must, as such, take all measures to prevent accidents, whether by making breathalyzers available to everyone or by arranging taxis for the return trip. Failure to comply with this legal obligation exposes the employer to civil and/or criminal sanctions.
Please note: bosses are not the only ones who can be sanctioned if the Christmas party gets out of hand. Employees are also required to be careful not to force too much on the drink, between two aperitif bites. They must ensure that they respect their company’s internal regulations regarding alcohol, as well as safety instructions. Any breach may result in disciplinary sanctions.
Apart from alcohol, employees must also be careful not to behave inappropriately during these festive moments. With alcohol helping, tongues tend to loosen. But be careful not to say things that go beyond your thoughts. Insulting your manager or that noisy office neighbor can be punished, even if this incident takes place during a company drink.
In general, drink in moderation and exercise restraint during this type of event. And don’t forget that your presence is required if the Christmas party is organized on company premises and during your working hours. However, nothing obliges you to drink, eat or speak with the various guests. But try to play the game anyway. A relaxed moment is the best opportunity to discover your colleagues in a new light, and create complicity with them.