Should Your Employer Pay For Work-Related Drinks?

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A vibrant work culture often involves a level of closeness among a company's workforce. What better way to cultivate this than to host social gatherings with workmates? While 56% of Australians have monthly or weekly catch-ups with colleagues outside work hours, 64% of employers are unwilling to foot the bill for work-related drinks and food. Considering a strong sense of camaraderie among colleagues would definitely benefit a business, should employers be expected to pay for what is essentially team-building outings?

Restaurant and bar deals app company Clipp recently did a survey on 2024 Australians to find out just how often they spend time with their colleagues outside of work and whether employers were open to chipping in money to those gatherings. Here are the findings from the survey:

  • 64% of employers are unwilling to foot the bill for work-related drinks and food.
  • 36% of employers would cover the total cost of food and drinks outside the workplace.
  • 56% of Australians have weekly or monthly catch-ups with their colleagues outside of work hours.
  • When it comes to workplace celebrations such as birthdays, farewells, events and milestones, the survey revealed that three in four Aussie employers (76% of survey respondents) enjoy marking these occasions at a bar, pub or hotel.
  • 44% of under 29s socialise with their colleagues weekly.
  • Only 55% of employers would pay the bill for large celebrations such as Melbourne Cup. Only 19% of employers usually pay the bill.

That last one is particularly important since Melbourne Cup is just a few weeks away.

The findings show that employees are keen to interact with colleagues outside of the workplace. But do you think employers should foot the bill? Let us know in the comments.


    Well the company pays if it's mandatory (officially or unofficially), and we pay if I'm going out for a beer with someone from work.

    Part of the issue is that if the employer steps in and pays then they create a liability should anything happen. If it's just a social gathering initiated by employees it's a different story.

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