Nick Xenophon & Co.

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Paradise SA 5075

Phone: (08) 8336 8888


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Work Christmas Party Time – Staff Rights & Employer Responsibilities

Work Christmas Party Time – Staff Rights & Employer Responsibilities

Its that time of the year again. But what happens when you sustain an injury at your company’s Christmas party? Are you able to make a claim?

Work Christmas parties are likely to be deemed employer events that occur ‘in the course of employment’. In most cases, depending on the individual; circumstances, if you sustain an injury due to a work Christmas party accident, and are unable to work then you may be able to claim. This includes an injury which occurs on the way to the party and on your way home in addition to an injury which occur at the actual event itself. However if you decide to continue to party after the function is deemed to be over you are no longer able to make a claim for benefits, as this is not ‘in the course of employment’. 

It is important to remember however that as the work Christmas party is a work event, employees will no doubt still be bound by their usual standards of workplace conduct. Employees need to be mindful that their company’s code of conduct, anti-discrimination, and workplace bullying policies will still apply at the Christmas party. 

As work Christmas functions occur ‘in the course of employment’ employers can be held liable for injuries that occur to employees while attending these events. Employers therefore have the responsibility to ensure the safety of all employees at work-related Christmas functions. They have the duty to ensure the health, welfare, and safety of employees who attend their Christmas party. 

If an employer fails to do this then a worker may be able to bring a claim for negligence against them. 

The employer’s legal liability to ensure employee safety at the Christmas party also extends to the conduct of other employees. Employers can be held vicariously liable for the actions of their employees which extends to inappropriate statements and conduct that occurs at work-related Christmas celebrations. 


We hope you have a wonderful time at your work Christmas party! However, if you do happen to sustain an injury at a work Christmas party, we may be able to help. To speak to one of our expert injury compensation lawyers telephone (08) 8336 8888. Our office will re-open again on Tuesday 2 January 2018.

Wishing everyone a safe and merry holiday season and a wonderful 2018.