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Ten litigants a-leaping

It's that time of year all employees look forward to - the Christmas office party, a chance to let down your hair with fellow colleagues and drink and eat your employer out of business. But it is not only the bar bill your boss could be dreading.

According to solicitors Lupton Fawcett, the misbehaviour of employees at office dos could land the employer with a lawsuit. Together with accountants PKF, the law firm is running a seminar to advise employers how to prevent Yuletide capers from ending up in court.

"We're going to be looking at the usual type of cases that can arise, such as the male managers making secretaries sit on their laps, or fights breaking out, and the responsibility of the employers in these cases," says Louise Bland, head of employment law at Lupton Fawcett.

According to Bland, if an employer organizes an event after work, and employees misbehave, there is every chance of a claim. It depends on how and when the party is organized, how much alcohol has been supplied and whether the staff have been made aware of proper behaviour in the workplace.

It is also important, says Bland, to ensure that parties are inclusive to all staff.

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