Vicarious Liability – Supreme Court has ruled that Morrisons Supermarket is Liable

A Supreme Court has ruled that Morrisons supermarket is liable for the actions of a staff member who physically attacked a customer.

This is a wake-up call for all employers because it has broadened the law which holds employers vicariously liable for the acts of their employees who commit a crime whilst at work.

Previously an employer could argue that an employee was acting for entirely personal reasons – lawyers call it being “on a frolic of their own” if they committed a crime, however, this new ruling has broadened that scope.

This ruling now makes it easier for customers of a business who are assaulted by staff – or affected by staff who commit any unlawful act whilst on duty – to hold the employer business liable.