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Legal advice for the Christmas party

November 09 2017

Christmas time is well known as party season and is the time of year when companies are most likely to hold a celebratory event for their staff. This could be anything from a festive lunch to a meal out to a lavish evening ball. Whatever the occasion, there are some similar points to keep in mind though in terms of individual and company liabilities at such events.

This is because in addition to businesses being liable for the behaviour of their employees in the workplace, they can also be liable in other certain circumstances when an incident occurs out of work but in a situation which is closely related to it. It is under this scenario that the staff Christmas party could fall and that potential liabilities could occur.

 A good example of this is the Bellman vs. Northampton Recruitment Limited case which took place in the High Court last year. Here, an employee, who had been punched by the Managing Director of the company and had suffered brain damage, filed a claim stating that the business was liable for his assailant’s behaviour that night.

 The overall ruling was that the company was not liable as the incident had occurred after the main party had taken place, rather than at it itself. (Several staff had continued to drink in the hotel where they were staying and this is where the attack took place.) The outcome of the case, could however have been different if had taken place within the party itself.

Grahame Stove Bateson in one of Yorkshire’s leading private client firms. We provide a full range of legal services including criminal defence, family law, mental health law, employment law, conveyancing, will and probate. If you would like to speak to a solicitor in Leeds, please get in touch today on 0113 246 8163. 


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