Christmas parties – A warning for employers

It is that time of year again when the Christmas office parties are in full swing, eat, drink and be merry!!

We don’t want to been seen as killjoys but when it comes to the Christmas party employers need to be aware of their vicarious liability.

In basic terms vicarious liability refers to a situation where someone is held responsible for the actions or omissions of another person. In a workplace context, an employer can be liable for the acts or omissions of its employees, provided it can be shown that they took place in the course of their employment.

The implications of this doctrine are far reaching and in theory an employer could be held responsible if a drunken staff member goes on the rampage at the Christmas bash!

Fortunately where there is a clear employer/employee relationship most insurance will pick up the vicarious liability risk.

For areas where the relationship between employer and employee is less clear, such as an employment company providing temporary staff, we would recommend cover with a specialist provider that will provides vicarious liability insurance as a contingency cover.

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Author: Tony Gibbs | December 18th, 2012

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Tony Gibbs
Get in touch:   Reading: 0118 916 5480   London: 020 7036 8767