Claims and Employers’ Liability

Introduction to Employer’s Liability

An employer may be held liable for negligence in three distinct situations.

  1. An employer owes a non-delegable duty of care to their employees (not to cause harm or injury) and may be held “personally” liable for the harm caused to employees.
  2. An employer may also be held liable, where he/she does not comply with the obligations imposed by law on him and causes a loss to an employee.
  3. An employer may also be held liable vicariously for injuries caused by their “Employees to others including clients and colleagues”.


  • Alan a factory worker is seriously injured when a piece of metal breaks off the machine he is using and hits him in the head.
  • Steve while working in a fast food restaurant accidentally slipped on a pool of grease, which was caused by a poorly maintained fryer and broke his arm.
  • Danial is subject to a sustained period of homophobic harassment and intimidation by his Area
  • Barry a client of Fresco has been defrauded by an employee who has now left Fresco.

An employer is required by the law to maintain and ensure that reasonable care is taken for the safety of their employees and holds a personal duty of care for safety and security of his employees. In the case of breach of the duty of care, he may personally be held responsible for the loss or harm caused by an employee.

Employer’s duty of care extends beyond physical safety and includes reasonable care to prevent psychiatric injury, workplace stress and suicide.

Duties of an employer

  • Duty to hire Competent staff
  • Duty to properly supervise them
  • Duty to properly train them in the use of equipment
  • Duty to provide necessary equipment (including safety equipment)
  • Duty to provide a proper system of working including instructions for general safety, physical layout of the job, the sequence in which the task is carried out, appropriate notices and warnings
  • Duty to take reasonable care to provide a safe place of work


While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. Each legal case and issue may have unique facts and circumstances, as a result legalally does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information provided. For further help and guidance, you can always rely on and seek advice from our experienced lawyers.

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