Can we discipline an employee for being drunk at the Christmas party?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 7 December 2010
Emma-Jane Flannery
Arthur Cox

It really depends on the circumstances but in most cases the answer will be no. It would be difficult to discipline employees for being drunk per se, particularly when alcohol is often free (and free-flowing) at the party. That said drinking off duty can be a potentially fair reason for dismissal on conduct or capability grounds. Disciplinary action may therefore be justified if, for example, the employee’s conduct is adversely affected by drinking alcohol at the party, or if the party is not just a social event. If clients are present at the party, it is likely that you will be entitled to

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 02/09/2015
Disclaimer:

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Emma-Jane Flannery
Arthur Cox

The main content of this article was provided by Emma-Jane Flannery. Contact telephone number is 028 9023 0007 or email Emma-Jane.Flannery@arthurcox.com

View all articles by Emma-Jane Flannery