Would you let your Christmas payroll go up in smoke?

Payrollers, you might not have Health & Safety high on your payroll agenda. But don’t let the Christmas payroll, one of the most important payroll runs of the year, go up in smoke, or fail to deliver for that all important festive cheer for employees.

It may sound daft but fires in the workplace rise during the festive period, and Christmas related injuries can knock out key people. Apart from an average £21000 physical cost from fire damage this could make delivering the final payroll of the year difficult.

Some employers are therefore fearful that allowing their staff to decorate the workplace during the festive period is too risky and blame “Health & Safety” as the killjoy. Bah humbug we say.

Health, Safety and HR regulations will seldom stop you from doing anything but merely require you take sensible and reasonable steps to consider the risks involved and then approach the task in a safe and practical manner.

Christmas Payroll Golden Rules

  • Make sure your important payroll data is backed up somewhere other than the office you’re sitting in
  • If you’re using hanging decorations then make sure that your team are using appropriate steps, not climbing on desks or worse still on swivel chairs! You may be rushing to meet the payroll deadline and have a good time in the office, but that won’t happen if you’re at home with a broken leg
  • Be aware of fire risks. Decorations attached to or near light fittings and heaters represent a real fire hazard.
  • Check that Christmas lights are safe and that wires haven’t become detached during storage. The one desktop in your office holding all the payroll data in an offline file will soon go up in smoke if a fire occurs.
  • Christmas trees, cables and other decorations can cause trip hazards so be careful that walkways are kept clear. You don’t want the one person looking after payroll taking a pre-Christmas trip
  • Be mindful of too much alcohol at the Christmas lunch or party. Keying an extra £20,000 bonus for all employees will send Christmas joy to them but will not go down well with the business bosses. And getting it back from stripped out bank accounts after Christmas could be even harder.

So enjoy a worry free Christmas payroll with these top tips. Or better still, if your payroll is giving you the Christmas blues you might want to consider giving yourself an early Christmas present and outsource your payroll. New Year predictions for 2019 indicate a really busy year for payroll. Read our guide.

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