Santa could be spending Christmas behind bars. According to Out-Law.com, part of Pinsent Masons an international law firm who advise on IT and e-commerce, Santa’s trading practices break several UK laws and fail to comply with EU directives.
Santa’s crime sheet includes:
- Failing to comply with the European Union’s Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment Directive, which from this year made producers of goods responsible for their environmentally sound disposal. “Santa and the elves, as producers of electrical and electronic equipment, will have obligations in relation to goods placed on the market, together with responsibilities for financing the treatment, reprocessing and environmentally sound disposal of them,” said Kirsty Isla Cooper, an environmental law specialist at Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com. There is some question ats to whether or not the elves are separately responsible because The Grotto has not disclosed whether elves are employees of Claus or are independent contractors.
- Santa’s use of a sleigh drawn by nine reindeer in England, which has had outbreaks of of foot and mouth and bluetongue disease, could be a safety breach. “Claus’s bringing of reindeer in and out of restriction zones could be a serious threat to the industry.” say Out-Law.com. A spokeswoman for the Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) told Out-Law.Com “The Bluetongue exclusion zone is still in operation and applies to reindeer. There is a 150km surveillance zone around the exclusion zone. You wouldn’t be able to go in there with reindeer and leave with them alive.”
- UK employment laws broken: restrictions on the number of hours worked (it is suspected that the elves work for more than 48 hours a week all year round) and race discrimination laws (Claus’s elf-focused employment practices)
- Work at Height Regulations 2005: Santa should make sure his sleigh has guardrails to prevent a fall and a fall arrest system installed so that if he does fall he is protected.
- Alcohol restrictions for pilots: the current UK limit is 20 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood. One brandy would probably exceed that limit and Santa has a glass of spirits in each of the UK’s 25 million households in one evening.
- Flying height restrictions: aircraft must not fly lower than 1,000 feet in major conurbations. Santa flies well below this height as he goes from roof to roof.
Santa is also accused of possible breaches of Data Protection and Distance Selling Regulations.
Full details are at:
- Santa: environmental catastrophe?
- Santa’s hiring policies may discriminate
- Reckless Santa could cause yuletide chaos, warn experts
- Santa ignores children’s refund rights, warn experts
- Santa putting children’s information at risk, warn experts
Looks as though they will be locking him up and throwing away the key