'The most drastic step is to ban alcohol' - post-work drinks may be a thing of the past with new health and safety laws

A leading employment lawyer says some businesses have scrapped after-work drinks out of fear employers will be prosecuted under new health and safety laws.

The prosecution is now possible thanks to a shakeup in Health and Safety laws. Source: 1 NEWS

"If someone's had a lot to drink at work and then they've gone out particularly with other work colleagues it may well be their safety is still something that's the employer's responsibility," employment lawyer Megan Richards said.

However, the Government's new laws do not specifically address drugs or alcohol.

"The most drastic step is to ban alcohol completely and there are some businesses who have done that," Ms Richards said.

But Kim Campbell of the Manufacturers Association believes banning after-work drinks is an overreaction.

"Drinks at work is not a health and safety issue but it does mean that responsibly hosting is something that the employer should be thinking about."

New Zealand's new laws are based on Australia's, where workplaces have been prosecuted.

In 2014 a finance company was fined $10,000 when a Perth man drowned at a function on a boat where free alcohol was readily available.