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

The following Employment practice 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 test for vicarious liability in tort
  • The relationship between the defendant and the wrongdoer
  • Liability in ‘relationships akin to employment’
  • Outstanding questions
  • Borrowed employees and dual vicarious liability
  • The connection between the relationship and the wrongful act
  • Mohamud v WM Morrison Supermarkets
  • The County Court and the Court of Appeal decisions
  • More...

Liability of employers for the acts of their employees and others

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 sets out the position in relation to liability for the acts of independent contractors and goes on to outline when an employer may be liable for 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

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