Disclaimer - ice skating!

Each year the staff choose what they'd like to do for Christmas and this year they have opted for a Chinese Meal out followed by a trip to the Christmas Ice Rink for some Ice Skating.   As their employer I will be paying for the whole evening which will include drinks at dinner.  I certainly wouldn't allow anyone to go over board on the alcohol and then skate but I am a little concerned that if someone does fall over and hurt themselves that I would be liable if I'd been to one to buy them a glass of wine or two.   

Would it be ethical to get the staff to sign a disclaimer prior to the Christmas do pointing out that they are responsible for their own safety?  If so does anyone have any suggestions on the best wording to use?

  • Hi Jo

    I don't work in HR but I am an employee(!) One thing you could do to be purely practical is go to the ice rink first and then the meal afterwards?! I expect the ice rink has its own insurance to cover if there are any injuries; with first aiders on site etc.

    Maybe send an email out beforehand saying something along the lines of  - 'Hope we all have an enjoyable evening - anyone skated before that could volunteer to help out the rest of us novices on the ice? Goes without saying, please take care everyone and if you don't fancy taking part in the skating, you're very welcome to sit and watch the rest of us - ahem - 'gliding about effortlessly' :) I've checked with the ice rink and obviously skating while under the influence is not allowed so best to save any festive merriment of the alcoholic kind until our meal afterwards.'

    Just a draft and could obviously be improved to suit your colleagues, culture and feelings about risk management!

    Johanna, digital team, CIPD 






  • Mark

    | 243 Posts


    12 Dec, 2013 13:00

    Hi Jo

    If you are responsible and have a duty of care, I don’t
    think you can ask employee’s to sign away their rights under health &
    safety law with a disclaimer.

    I Like Johanna’s idea though.


  • David Perry

    | 4652 Posts

    Chartered Member

    12 Dec, 2013 14:23

    No.  You cannot ask anyone to sign a disclaimer - The law is the law and if you have a duty of care under the law then a disclaimer means absolutely nothing at all.


    I'd guess your duty of care is that you do not go drinking/meals first and then skating. Doing it he other way around is your duty of care in my opinion. 

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