Employers Liability and Social Events
Most employers will at some stage throughout the year hold social events, for example a Christmas party. Whilst these are times for people to "let their hair down” there are pitfalls for employers to look out for even on such occasions.
The reason for this is because of what is known as vicarious liability. This is where an employer can be held liable for the negligent/unlawful actions of its employees acting in the course of their employment. In the context of the Christmas party therefore, an inappropriate comment or behaviour by one employee to another might well result in that employer being found liable to pay the wronged employee compensation.
It is important that employers ensure that not only for example they have an equal opportunities policy in place, but that adequate training is given to employees. Proactive measures, such as having a written policy in an office manual to cover such events and reminders to employees of what type of behaviour would be treated as unacceptable, would be positive evidence to put before the Tribunal should the need arise.
The above information is not intended to be a complete or definitive statement of the law. For more information or advice please contact our Employment Law team.
Back to factsheets