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Make the festive season safe and fun for your staff

As December approaches and preparations for the festive season are underway, here are some tips to make sure you keep your staff safe.

1. Safety comes first

To help reduce the risk of injury or claims for negligence, take care when putting up Christmas decorations in your premises. Make sure you use the right type of ladder and know how to use it safely. Do not stand on counters or balance on wheelie chairs. Make someone responsible for a thorough check of the premises when everyone has left; all electrical equipment is switched off and/or disconnected; windows and doors are closed and locked; water supply is off at the mains to avoid any leakages from burst pipes if the heating is switched off and the weather is cold.

2. Communicate clearly

Allow sufficient time to inform staff about Christmas party arrangements and ensure everyone understands that the party is a work event – not just a night out with their mates! e.g. gently remind them about the consequences of poor behaviour and that you expect them to be at work on time the next-working day.

3. Promote responsible behaviour

Alcohol consumption can often be instrumental in causing accidents, inappropriate behaviour and even breaking the law through drunken driving. Make sure you have a range of enticing non-alcohol alternatives – “cocktail creativity” to help moderate alcohol intake. Avoid causing offence by ensuring staff understand levels of acceptable behaviour. You might also consider arrangements for safe transport home after the party, such as a mini bus to the local train station. Heavy drinking the night before will make people unfit for driving the next day.

4. Manage social media

When there is drink involved, antics could quickly become the focus of internet scrutiny. Businesses need to implement necessary controls so drunken tweets don’t damage your reputation. If you don’t have a social media policy, you may wish to create one, or add it to your existing disciplinary policy. In which case, you’ll need to inform your staff of the new addition to your company’s policies in writing and tell them where they can access it. This way there can be no confusion should disciplinary action be needed.

5. Dealing with extra stress at Christmas

Not everyone approaches the festive season with the same enthusiasm. Stress levels can really rise at this time of year. Whether it’s the financial pressures of Christmas – especially if they have children -, or concern for elderly and vulnerable relatives, the additional stress can take its toll on people’s health and wellbeing. There are many ways in which an employer’s empathetic investment in people can pay dividends. e.g. giving staff time off to visit distant relatives or refer someone to the CAB or Money Advice Service.

We have found that with effective planning of festivities everyone can safely enjoy the Christmas period… and celebrate a terrific close to the year – you’ve earned it!

Your Bira insurance policy includes employers’ liability as well as public and products liability covers as standard. To help you comply with health and safety regulations, the online training and advice service is automatically available to all bira insurance policyholder and helps to keep you compliant and your customers safe.

Find out more about Bira Insurance

Looking after business, taking care of people.

If you have any questions, please call Towergate on 0330 123 5939 and talk to the Bira Insurance team.

This is a marketing article provided by Bira Insurance.
British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) are an Introducer Appointed Representative of Towergate Underwriting Group Limited. Bira Insurance is a trading name of Towergate Underwriting Group Ltd who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered Address: Towergate House, Eclipse Park, Sittingbourne Rd, Maidstone, Kent ME14 3EN. Registered in England with company number 4043759.

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