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Employment Law: Simpson v AFS and Tom Barnes - Case Study Example

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The author of "Employment Law: Simpson v AFS and Tom Barnes Case" paper demonstrates that this is not an appropriate case for the application of those exceptions. Tom Barnes’ altercation with a fellow employee is an act for which AFS can be held liable. The paper demonstrates how and why…
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Employment Law: Simpson v AFS and Tom Barnes Case
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Download file to see previous pages What is usually required is that the person vicariously liable has in some manner conceivably authorized the conduct giving rise to the tort. There are three circumstances in which one person may be held vicariously liable for the misconduct of another.1 They are:

1. A master/servant relationship such as an employer/employee. In these types of relationships, the master is liable for the misconduct of an employee provided the latter is acting in the course of his or her employment.

On the facts of the case for discussion, the vicarious liability involved turns on the master/servant or employer/employee relationship. The general rule is that it is the nature and circumstances of the actual employment that justify holding an employer vicariously liable for the tortious conduct of his or her employees. There are two essential elements necessary for establishing vicarious liability in the workplace. First, it is necessary to prove that the employee was at the material time the defendant’s servant or employee. Secondly, it must be established that the conduct complained of took place in the course of that employment.

There are three applicable tests for establishing whether or not an employee is in fact a servant for the purposes of vicarious liability. They are the control test, the multiple tests, and the integral test.

When a tortfeasor is actually an employee he will be regarded as a servant and his employer will be vicariously liable for his misconduct in most circumstances.  However, the issue of control is not always so clear cut.  For instance, in Collins v Hertfordshire CC [1947] KB 598 Hertfordshire County Council was not vicariously liable for the negligence of one of the hospital surgeons since it did not exercise control over the doctors.  Hilberry J said:

“The distinction between a contract for services and a contract of service can be summarised in this way: In one case the master can order or require what is to be done, while in the other case he can not only order or require what is to be done but how it shall be done." ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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