​How to prepare for the office Christmas party

Motivation and fun

13 December 2016

Christmas crackers? Check! Crisps and dips? Check! Liability insurance? We hope so. The Christmas party season is packed with hazards, from offensive Secret Santa gifts to dangerous decorations.

As well as employer liability insurance (a legal requirement), make sure you have a public liability insurance policy. It provides cover of up to £5 million for compensation claims, up to 50 days of free cover for temps, £250 in court attendance costs per day to defend claims, and access to a 24-hour legal helpline.

Adequate insurance can be the difference between your Christmas party going to plan and going south. Even if things take a turn for the worse, you'll be protected by public liability insurance. Here's how:

You decide to hold the party in the office

Goes right: Everyone finishes work at 5pm on the dot and gets straight into the party spirit.

Goes wrong: One employee is working late, and when he nips to the loo his colleagues decide to play a prank on him. Unfortunately this involves messing about with an important document. He doesn't notice the changes and sends it to the client, who is rightfully furious. Luckily you also have a professional indemnity insurance policy.

Fairy lights everywhere

Goes right: The office is transformed into a winter wonderland. Staff are happily snapping selfies of themselves wearing their paper crowns and gripping their flutes of fizz.

Goes wrong: A string of fairy lights hasn't been properly tacked to the wall, and falls down to ankle level. It's the perfect height for someone to trip over, and unfortunately it's the girlfriend of one of your staff members who does. Even worse, she's twisted her ankle and is supposed to be dancing in a panto the next day.

Brings a whole new meaning to "break a leg", it might not be the most unusual insurance claim, but luckily she's covered under your public liability policy.

It starts to snow

Goes right: An end of the night snowball fight in the car park! Everyone's having a great time, and although there's plenty of potential for accidental property damage or another twisted ankle, it all goes off without a hitch. Someone even names their snowman after you.

Goes wrong: Someone nipped out for a cigarette and left the side door open. While everyone was out enjoying the snowball fight, a gust of snow blew in and damaged some of the computers. You're in luck, though: when you bought that public liability insurance, you also added some business equipment insurance.

From tipsy temps to daredevil staff dancing on their swivel chairs, there are plenty more ways someone could get injured at your Christmas party. If you don't want to be held liable, make sure you're properly insured.