How inclusive are your company’s end-of-year parties?

Dear colleagues,

Approach the holiday season in an inclusive way that celebrates and welcomes everyone in your team, as not all of your colleagues will celebrate the same holidays.

From Christmas to Hanukkah to Kwanzaa, many individuals and organisations will take the opportunity to celebrate the end of the year with an event or gathering. You may have scheduled your organisation’s end of year party, but how can you ensure all your colleagues are able to participate and enjoy themselves?

Group of four people in an event lobby talking, holding cans of soft drink
Photo by Product School on Unsplash

Practical tips to ensure your end of year party is inclusive:


  • Try not to centre the event around alcohol and ensure dietary requirements are catered to.
  • Consider physical accessibility to the venue, such as lifts, seats, lighting, and noise levels.
  • Offer hybrid involvement if possible, and consider timing the event to allow those with caregiving responsibilities or working in different timezones to participate. 
  • Have clear parameters around when and where and give plenty of notice, to support neurodivergent folks, carers, disabled folks, and others.


  • If doing a gift exchange, limit spends to £5-10 (depending on income of your colleagues, you may want to consider less/more). Consider if gifting is necessary at all. Interesting thoughts on this point have been shared from Martin Lewis in light of the cost of living crisis.
  • If possible, cover costs for employees to take part, or consider budget friendly options for gatherings to remove finance as a barrier.

On the day

  • Include team games for teambuilding and collaboration. If possible, communicate a rough plan so folks can prepare for the level of activity.
  • Build in time for quieter moments to allow introverts and sensory sensitive folks to have a breather.

Ultimately, your organisation’s end of year celebrations are about your people and their achievements, rather than a particular event or holiday. Recognise your employees preferences, and clarify that attendance to an event is always optional. These steps can allow you to arrange an event without accessibility or inclusion barriers for those who want to participate.