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Primary Employers Notes

GDL Law Notes > GDL Tort Law Notes

Updates Available  

A more recent version of these Primary Employers notes – written by Cambridge/Bpp/College Of Law students – is available here.

The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our GDL Tort Law Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

Revision: Tort

[LIABILITY OF EMPLOYERS: PRIMARY LIABILITY]
The Duty of Care

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Personal and non-delegable: performance can be delegated but not liability for its breach o

McDermid v Nash Dredging: Employed by parent company but working for subsidiary - parent company tried to delegate liability but this was not allowed

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Mullaney v Chief Constable of West Midlands Police: Junior probation officer beaten up due to lack of back up - Chief Constable tried to delegate responsibility but was not allowed: Strict rule

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Classic statement of duties in Wilsons and Clyde Coal v English:

1. Duty to provide a safe place of work, including materials and plant

2. Duty to operate a safe system of work, including supervision and instruction; and,

3. Duty to provide an employee with competent fellow employees

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Duties are not distinct: simply different components of the broader duty to take reasonable care

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Lord MacDermott in Winter v Cardiff Rural District Council: one duty, namely to ensure employee's safety o

Based on the common law, independent of any statutory duty: compliance with statutory duty is no defence (Bux v Slough Metals)

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At common law: term implied into all contracts of employment that reasonable care will be taken to ensure the health & safety of employees (Johnstone v Bloomsbury AHA) - cannot be excluded (s2(1) UCTA)

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Compulsory insurance to cover such claims: Employers' Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 and Employers' Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Regulations 1998

To provide a safe place of work

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Smith v Charles Baker and Sons: basic obligation to ensure that the workplace is safe - defects in the premises and hazardous activities taking place on them

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WIlsno v Tyneside Cleaning: duty existed in relation to third party premises eg a window cleaner (although standard would be lower)

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