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Employer's Liability - Essay Example

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The conviction that the companies inflict is too large in cost in terms of injury and death of the workers they employ and the community at large.(Wells,C 1993)(1).These types of happenings have given rise to number of official inquiries and reports which led to significant criticisms…
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Employers Liability
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Download file to see previous pages Before analyzing the prosecution procedures against the companies it is desirable to know more about the criminal law under which these companies can be brought for justice regarding the injury and death. The criminal law is not only concerned with compensation between offender and victim but also with compensation orders and other reparative ideas conniving themselves as a regular adjunct of sentencing options. The criminal law is an ideological function, that it makes statements about the boundaries of tolerated behaviour.
Arguments about deterrence may have fallen from favor as regards the punishment of individual offenders, but corporate bodies may be more susceptible to it. There is not a simple, linear relationship between the enforcement of criminal laws and perceptions of wrongful behaviour. Criminalization ,in its broadest sense is a complex and often fragmented process and any role which criminal laws have in relation to safety will reflect and reproduce, as well as create, attitudes to risk. (Wells,C)(3)
A company is a legal person which can only act or form an intention through its directors or employees. Companies must have at least one director and a secretary and the company's Articles will authorize the directors or others to act on behalf of the company or to delegate those powers. A company is legally separate both from those individuals who are entrusted with acting on its behalf and also of course from all its employees who may carry out tasks in the course of their employment which can be regarded for some purposes as the tasks of the company. A company can commit offences ranging from the relatively trivial to the serious. It should be sufficient that there is evidence against the director or officer. Directors and officers can also be criminally liable as aid and abettors of the company's crimes or of the crimes of their fellow directors.
The existing offense
A company's liability may be established by
a) Vicarious liability for the acts of a company's employees/agents.
b) Non-vicarious liability by reason of the identification principle including offences requiring mens rea
a) Vicarious Liability
In Mousell Bros Ltd v London and North Western Ry Co [1917]2K.B. 836 (4)it was held that a corporate/company employer is vicariously liable for the acts of its employees and agents where a natural person would be similarly liable .Here it is to be remembered that it may require mens rea, yet impose vicarious responsibility. On the contrary, it may create strict liability without imposing vicarious liability ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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