Do any of your staff drive for work? Employees on the road are on average the most at risk group in a organisation, and numerous pieces of legislation have been enacted to protect these workers from hazards associated with their roles, such as the European driving regulations which limits the amount of time a worker can drive for without taking a break.
The latest measure being a national Garda operation targeting motorists using mobile phones, which is becomming one of the biggest causes of accidents on our roads, and a growing concern for employers.
In what is an unusual Landmark Case feature, we look at the case of McGrath -v- Trintech Technologies Ltd.  IEHC 342. where it is actually the principles of a Landmark UK case that have been applied.
The case of Sutherland -v- Hatton  EWCA Civ 76 involved four employees, three of whom successfully argued stress against their employers, and in the determination the Court set down 16 “Golden Rules” which employers must follow to combat stress in the workplace.
In the case of McGrath -v- Trintech, this is one of the first Irish cases where the courts have given strong credence to these rules from an Irish context, and as such employers should be aware of this when managing stress in their workplace.
Further to our posting last week on Vicarious Liability and the Implications for Employers, it was interesting to note that in yesterdays Irish Times it highlighted a recent case where a Bishop was held vicariously liable for the actions of a priest.
The case of JGE -v- Trustees of Portsmouth Roman Catholic Diocesan Trust (EWCA Civ 938) is interesting as although not strictly and employer/employee relationship, the Court agreed that the relationship, although different in a number of ways, was sufficiently close to that of an employer/employee to render the Bishop vicariously liable for the actions of the priest.
The doctrine of vicarious liability is a well-established principle which basically provides that where an employee commits a wrong in the course of their employment, not only may that employee be directly liable for their action but also their employer may be held vicariously liable for that employee’s wrongdoing.
The most common example is where an employee is guilty of negligence which results in injury to a third party such as a customer. That third party may take legal action against the employer in such circumstances. The reason behind this was outlined by in Majrowski -v- Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust  U.K.H.L. 34,  I.R.L.R. 695 as follows: