The employer of an independent contractor is, in general, not liable for the negligence or other torts committed by the contractor in the course of the execution of the work.
If the individual responsible for the tort is operating their own business or is in a relationship with the defendant resembling employment, the five "incidents" outlined in the Christian Brothers case are not applicable.
Dr. Bates, a self-employed medical practitioner, conducted pre-employment medical examinations for Barclays job applicants.
Barclays arranged the appointments, provided a confidential medical report template, and paid Dr. Bates per report without a retainer.
Allegations of sexual assault by Dr. Bates during examinations led to a group action by 126 claimants seeking damages from Barclays
The lower court and Court of Appeal held Barclays vicariously liable for any proven assaults by Dr. Bates. Barclays appeals this decision to the Supreme Court.
The court emphasizes that the "classic distinction" between employment or similar relationships and those with independent contractors remains intact. This distinction is pivotal in delineating the legal responsibility of the employer for the actions of the individual performing the work.
While the court acknowledges the potential use of the five "incidents" identified by Lord Phillips in earlier cases as indicators of a relationship sufficiently akin to employment, it underscores that the heart of the matter lies in a nuanced understanding of the details of the relationship.
Since 2010, Oxbridge Notes has been a trusted education marketplace, supplying high-quality materials from top achievers at universities like Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, Harvard, and Yale.
We offer free case summaries, sample notes, and award-winning content, all curated and approved by our editorial team. Our reputation for excellence has led to features in The Guardian, Wikipedia, and the National Council for Law Reporting (Kenya Law).
Every year, millions of students utilize our free and premium notes to aid their studies.