Your questions answered: What if someone gets hurt at our social club event

By Jeff Salton on March 6th, 2018
  1. Risk Management
  2. Hazard Identification


We run an optional social club at work, where the employee contributes $2.50 per week per person they want to bring along (normally $5 for them and a partner), our company then matches their donation.

We have conducted many events throughout the years, and as of late we are starting to do more family-friendly events, involving the growing number of children throughout the company.

If a non-employee gets hurt at one of these activities – who is liable? Each person has joined the club on a voluntary basis, they attend the events on a voluntary basis, they also sign a waiver (at the event) generally protecting the venue, but within that waiver they agree that they are liable for their own actions.


In relation to your question regarding your obligations as an employer with respect to social functions organised through work, you will continue to owe a duty of care for your workers and other guests at such work-related functions. This means that your business will be liable for an injury that occurs at the function, whether it relates to an employee, their child or another family member.

You should be aware that the Courts have found employers liable where accidents occur at social functions organised through work, even though the function was not work as such.

We suggest you also review Chapter M2 – Managing Work-Related Functions in the Health & Safety Handbook.

In particular, specific information can be found in the Waiver Form and Guidelines for Offside Work Functions templates. All the content in the Handbook, including the forms, guidelines, checklists, samples and templates are written by the health and safety lawyers at Holding Redlich, so you can be sure they’re right.

Order your copy today and check for yourself on an obligation-free trial. It’s that easy.

Related Articles: