Employers across Cornwall are being warned to think carefully about the potential risks around staff parties with the Christmas season well underway.
General insurance firm Cornish Mutual is urging local businesses to be aware that they may still be liable for accident claims and damage to company property, even if the party is outside of working hours or held at an external venue.
The company says an employers’ duty of care still applies at Christmas parties, and even extends to ensuring employees get home safely afterwards.
Cornish Mutual is assuring bosses they don’t need to cancel their event, but has taken the step of issuing some timely advice to help them prepare, should the worst happen.
Insurance underwriter Ian Metcalfe said: “We don’t want to appear to be the party poopers, but this is sensible advice for employers who want to avoid finding themselves in a difficult situation come the New Year.
“Christmas parties should still be a time to have fun, but seemingly harmless antics can result in serious damage, and employers should safeguard themselves against such accidents occurring wherever possible.”
Cornish Mutual has prepared the following guidelines to help employers prepare for their staff Christmas parties:
- Try to check the venue prior to the event to ensure its facilities are suitable for everyone attending, including those with special access requirements.
- Remind staff to behave responsibly and that, as an employer, you still have a duty of care for their well-being outside the office or workplace.
- Look out for colleagues and make sure they’re safe during and after the event.
- Think about organising a taxi or minibus before the event to get your colleagues home safely and to ensure against drink driving.
- And if the party is being held at the office, advise staff on policies regarding damage or misuse of company property.