Liability of employers for the acts of their employees and others
Produced in partnership with Adam Ohringer, Barrister, Cloisters
Liability of employers for the acts of their employees and others

The following Employment guidance note Produced in partnership with Adam Ohringer, Barrister, Cloisters provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Liability of employers for the acts of their employees and others
  • Vicarious liability for torts
  • The relationship between the defendant and the wrongdoer
  • Borrowed employees and dual vicarious liability
  • The connection between the relationship and the wrongful act
  • Mohamud v WM Morrison Supermarkets
  • Application of Mohamud
  • Liability for acts of independent contractors
  • Liability for torts of another person’s employees
  • Liability to third persons regarding contracts: express and ostensible agency
  • more

This Practice Note considers the test for an employer’s vicarious liability in tort, which arises from certain legal relationships and in relation to certain acts. It also considers liability in ‘relationships akin to employment’ and the circumstances in which more than one employer may be vicariously liable (dual vicarious liability). It examines the ‘close connection test’, which establishes the required connection between the relationship and the wrongful act, re-considered in 2016 by the Supreme Court in Mohamud v WM Morrison Supermarkets, and reviews relevant cases since that decision.

It goes on to outline when an employer may be liable for the acts of independent contractors, the torts of another person’s employees and where liability to third persons regarding contracts (express and ostensible agency) may arise.

This Practice Note also outlines liability for breach of confidence and privacy and breach of data protection obligations, vicarious liability for statutory torts and an employer’s criminal liability for the acts of employees. The practical implications of vicarious liability are also examined.

This Practice Note does not generally deal with liability under the Equality Act 2010 (EqA 2010). For guidance on that topic, see Practice Note: Liability of employers and employees under the Equality Act 2010.

Vicarious liability for torts

A person may be liable not only for torts of his own but also vicariously for torts committed