We act in several hundred civil claims against
the Ministry of Defence. In the addition to
allegations of negligence and systemic failings
they have always been responsible for actions of
those within their employment.
However, in recent cases, what does and does not fall ‘within
their employment’ has widened to become much more of a
legal grey area.
The cases have primarily revolved around assaults occurring
away from the work place that can be linked back to the day job.
As no one is employed to assault those they are working with, if
someone is assaulted by a fellow employee out of work, then they
are considering to not be ‘acting within their employment’.
However, a case recently came to prominence involving a petrol
attendant who assaulted a customer who had asked for assistance.
The Courts decided that because the attendant was tasked with
dealing with the public then he was acting within his employment
and the supermarket was liable for his actions.
This was helpful in
a recent case against the MOD where a soldier was tied up in his
sleeping bag and assaulted by two fellow soldiers ‘to teach him
The MOD’s vicarious liability for their employees is not limited to
physical abuse but extends to psychological abuse and bullying.
Published: April 2019
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