12 December 2016Keep Control Of Your Office Party Risk
It’s nearly that time of year again. While many office parties in December pass off without mishap, the risk to employers is significant and can land you with an unexpected legal or HR hangover.
Remember, all office or works parties are legally viewed as an extension of your workplace. Mix people and alcohol with a general release of tension at the end of the year and the result can be a recipe for trouble.
Alcohol-related incidents are a major cause of New Year tribunals: as many as 90% of UK employers have experienced a Christmas party employment issue and 10% of employees know someone who found themselves subject to disciplinary action or dismissal after the event.
That’s why it’s worth having a clear risk policy for how you manage your office Christmas party – or any function during the year you host as an employer – and one that emphasises the message that actions have consequences.
The main risk areas to plan for are people, specifically behaviour; the venue whether in the office or off-site; and lastly travel to and from the party. As an employer you are vicariously responsible for the actions and conduct of your employees and that could mean a public liability claim.
Plus, always remember your duty of care as an employer, particularly your health & safety obligations. The more risks you spot and neutralise with good planning (and the right insurance cover), the lower your public or employers’ liability risk if an incident does occur.
In this bulletin, we run you through the risk checklist that will help ensure smooth celebrations that are remembered for all the right reasons.