Responsibility of Employers for Acts of Employees

Employers are legally entitled to enjoy all the benefits his workers bring for him. On the contrary he also needs to take the responsibility of when he causes any harm. So employers often need to take the responsibility of their employees’ conduct in some cases. That is, employers may need to compensate for the actions of their employee without being physically involved with any accidents themselves.

The employer is the owner of a business. It’s his job to hire and train employees for his organisation. So naturally, employers can be held responsible for all job-related accidents caused by the employee. It’s to be noted that employees causing an accident while on the job and the accidents caused within the scope of the employment are different. Will get further on this in the following sections.

Respondeat Superior

‘Respondeat Superior’ is a legal doctrine which is a regular practice in the workplace. The rule says that the employee must be acting within the course and scope of the employment for an employer to be held responsible.

This is because the employer is liable for the activities of the employee to carry out the employers business. This includes the employer’s responsibility to the owner within the scope of this business. But if the employee runs personal errands with the company property then the employer is not liable for any such accidents.

Vicarious liability

Vicarious liability is a legal situation where one party is responsible due to the mistake of a third party. The third party itself carries his own share of the actions. For example in a construction site if a crain mistakenly does any damage to any neighbouring building the crane operator along with his employer are both held responsible.

Criminal charges

It’s often unlikely to convict the employer on the basis of crime committed by these employees. But if the employee hires a convicted guy without a background check that exposes others to harm this can happen.

This inspires employers to conduct through background checks of the employees while hiring. Otherwise he can get charged for exposing his customer to potentially dangerous people.

So employers should always be aware of whom they are hiring. For instance this can make the employer responsible for providing access to potential victims.

Lastly, small business owners should be well aware of all the share of liability they are entitled to carry out. Otherwise, a single lawsuit is enough to shut down the business. On the other hand a business can run really well if you are aware of these obligations and take necessary steps.

The UK employment law protects employees and employers in the workplace. The law ensures fair pay for the employees, a discrimination free workplace and protects children from labour. So small business owners should be well aware of his legal duties to protect the best interest of his business. The rules are the same for self employed small businesses owners.

Responsibility of the employer

It’s his responsibility to constantly monitor employee activity to avoid any wrong from happening. As employers are tied by law to be liable for their employees’ actions it’s better the employer has his own guidelines for the employees to avoid any wrong from happening.

Firstly, the employers have the legal duty of protecting employees, their health, safety and welfare. So the employer must make all sorts of arrangements to keep the employees safe from hazards.

Secondly, to keep the employees away from any type of drug or alcohol abuse within the work premises should also be in the guideline. The employers should also fix up certain restrictions to avoid drug and alcohol use at work. These types of obligations should be maintained thoroughly.

Lastly employers are required to provide appropriate training to the workforce and maintain all equipment accordingly. Within the business premises all potential harm causing instruments are needed to be kept in order

Cases where employers cant be held liable

  1. Negligence

the employer cannot be charged due to pure negligence of the employee. In this case they are personally liable for their actions. It’s the employees responsibility to act in a way so they do not cause any harm to themselves or any client.

2. Victims fault

If the victim is himself to blame for any occurance the employer cannot be held responsible. In such cases the employer or the owner of the business cannot be liable.

3. The fault of a third person

If any harm is caused by the mistreatment of any third party the employer cannot be held responsible for this.

If an employee does any fault normally the owner of the business tries to settle the matter informally. Same goes for the fault of the employer. The matter can be solved formally in a court of by informal compensation for the damage done. Incase of any claim of a client, it is settled in court by a judge. The cases are settled in the Civil court or the County court. Compensation is measured based on damage, injury and medical bills and work hours lost.

Shafiur is a professional blogger and eLearning Industry Specialist.