The Extent of Employers Liability to the Employee

Every employer has certain obligations to his employee. The employer-employee relationship is a contractual one and as such, both parties have responsibilities, rights and benefits accordingly. Knowing this, to what extent does an employer’s duties and responsibilities stretches? What is the extent of an employer’s liability to his employee? Here’s where the principle of vicarious liability come in.

The Principle of Vicarious Liability

The principle of Vicarious Liability in law simply explains that your employer is to be held responsible for your actions while you’re working for him. For instance, if a construction worker mishandles equipment that ends up demolishing people’s houses, the employers will be held responsible. This is similar to a case of parents who allow a child to drive a car. If the child kills or injured someone in the course of driving, the parents will bear responsibility for allowing the child to have access to the car.

Also, your employer will be held liable if you injure somebody with the office car during work hours. Your boss here is legally responsible for you because you are his agent by virtue of your employment contract.

Now, with these scenarios mentioned above, it is important to note that your employer is only liable for wrongs that you commit in the course of your employment. This means that his liability is to the extent of your job description and as such, he will not be liable for any offence you commit outside your job description.

If for instance, your employer gives you money to attend a company seminar in Abuja from Lagos, and you’re kidnapped on the road, your employer will be held responsible to pay your ransom, medical expenses etc. also, if while traveling to the seminar, you accidentally injured somebody on the highway or you get injured yourself, your employer will be held responsible for footing the bills. This is because they occurred during working hours.

However, if after working hours, you decide to go home in the company’s car and you injure somebody in the process or get involved in an accident, you are strictly liable for the offence you committed because it occurred outside working hours.

While we ensure its correctness, please note that this article is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. We are not responsible for your use of the information provided herein. For proper guidance and further details on the subject, kindly contact us here.

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