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Office Christmas Party Infographic

and Avoid Personal Injury Claims

18th December 2014

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The work Christmas party is a great excuse for employers and employees alike to let their hair down and spread goodwill to one and all. But whilst the rousing office ‘do’ can be a great morale booster – for some small businesses, it can occasionally end in disaster.

What few small business owners realise is that when they take their employees out for the annual Christmas party, their responsibility for their employees’ safety still stands, even though everyone’s out of the office. Right up until the last few dwindling party-goers head home.

Many employers often don’t realise they are legally responsible for the behaviour and welfare of their staff at the Christmas party – and legally, this has the potential to land them in hot water. Particularly given that over half of employees expect to party hard at their annual festivities and 36% say they anticipate getting drunk because they deserve it!

Christmas calamities

All this excessive alcohol consumption makes way for an array of calamitous outcomes. According to recent figures released by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), the Friday before Christmas is the worst time of the calendar year for accidents. Hospital admissions for alcohol-related injuries over the festive period increase by over 40% - and these holiday-induced accidents manifest in a number of weird and wonderful ways.

Whilst an unfortunate 1,000 people will suffer some Christmas tree-related ailment, a further 350 will be injured by fairy lights and, over the average Christmas period, several people will break an arm pulling crackers.

Protect your business

Despite the dangers, it is relatively straightforward for employers to take steps to protect themselves against potential claims. For instance, before the party, it’s advisable to issue clear guidelines to staff outlining expectations for behaviour. Within reason, employers can make steps to limit alcohol consumption or, anticipating that the occasion is invariably going to involve a large amount of liquor, make sure arrangements are made for staff to get home safely.

As long as employers are aware of the risks that having a Christmas party brings and prepare accordingly, it’s more than possible to give employees a rousing send-off without incurring unexpected claims.

We’ve created the below infographic to show how you can make sure your office Christmas party goes without a hitch.

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About Your Legal Friend

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