Employers: How to protect employees when they’re rocking around the Christmas tree

With the Christmas party season well and truly upon us, the coming weeks will see offices up and down the land celebrating. But are employers responsible if their employees enjoy one too many festive drinks?

 

Leticia Williams, personal injury partner at London law firm Hodge Jones & Allen says that employers owe a duty of care to their employees and this extends to include the hours of any official work party:

 

“If you are an employer organising a work Christmas party, you must remember that the party can be taken to be an extension of the workplace, even if the event is off-site. Employers should remind staff that while the event is fun and outside work hours, employees are still representatives of the company and work policies and practices still apply.”

Leticia has five points for employers to ensure their party ends without incident:

1. Make sure the party venue has been adequately risked assessed.

2. Put a ‘clean as you go’ policy in place so that any spillages are effectively handled to avoid any slips.

3. Appoint a designated first aider on site to provide medical treatment if required.

4. Be clear with employees about start and finish times, and behaviour expectations.

5. Advise employees of the nearest transport links before the party, so your employees can get home safely.

 

She added;

“No-one wants to spoil the festive mood, but there are simple steps which can be taken in advance to ensure that both employees and the business are safeguarded,” 

Author: Kate Thomas

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