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Employment Law Key Case: Vicarious Liability


Vicarious Liability on site

Employment Law Specialist, Dionne Dury reviews the Andrew Chell v Tarmac Cement and Lime Limited [2020] EWHC: 2613 concerning vicarious liability in the workplace.

An independent contractor was unintentionally injured as a result of an employee’s practical joke. The High Court ruled that the employer was not liable for the employee’s injury on the basis that the employee’s actions were unconnected with any instruction given to him and it would be expecting too much of an employer to devise and implement a policy or site rules which cover such level of horseplay or the playing of practical jokes. The case has been appealed to the Court of Appeal.

Takeaways: Whilst the Courts held that an employer could be directly liable for such pranks, they were not on the facts of this case.

Watch this space: the case has been appealed to the Court of Appeal. If the High Court’s decision is upheld it will join other recent cases such as Morrisons and Barclays where the Courts have provided limits on vicarious liability for employers.

Affected by this case?

Contact Hatch Brenner Solicitors Employment Law Specialist, Dionne Dury to discuss all your employment matters on 01603 214 229 or email dionnedury@hatchbrenner.co.uk.

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Dionne Dury Employment Law

Dionne Dury, Employment Solicitor and Workplace Mediator

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