0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

Forgotten your password?

BA child abuse claims shines spotlight on vicarious liability

31 July 2014

British Airways (BA) is being sued over allegations that a pilot abused children on stopovers in Africa. He allegedly used his involvement in BA’s community relations work to visit schools and orphanages which received donations from the airline.

Recent sexual abuse cases have chipped away at the test for vicarious liability. We now look for (i) an employment relationship or relationship “akin to employment”; and (ii) a sufficiently close connection between the employment and the wrongful act to make it fair, just and reasonable to hold an employer liable.

Whether BA will be liable will turn on the ‘close connection’ stage of the new test. It will be interesting to see what approach the court takes. However, the seemingly constant re-examination of vicarious liability in abuse cases, a readiness to sue corporate bodies, and the courts willingness to extend the principles appears to be driven by a desire to find any way to effectively compensate a victim of another’s wrongful act.

Related opinions

Symptoms of menopause can constitute a disability

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) recently found that an employment tribunal was wrong to strike out a claim on grounds that menopausal symptoms did not amount to a disability under the Equality Act 2010 (Rooney v Leicester City Council).

View blog

Employment Appeal Tribunal rules no entitlement to pay for zero-hour worker during a period of suspension

In a recent case the Employment Appeal Tribunal determined that, as a zero-hour worker, the Claimant was not entitled to be paid whilst he was suspended pending an investigation into an allegation of misconduct.

View blog

Business and Property Courts: remote hearings to remain, for now…

For business disputes, it looks likely that remote hearings will be an option into the future.

View blog

Flexible working and leave for carers

The Government has launched a consultation today on potential changes to the statutory flexible working regime.

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up