In Brink’s Global Services Inc and ors v Igrox Limited the Court of Appeal held that an employer was vicariously liable for the theft of a number of silver bars by one of its employees. The court decided that there was a sufficiently close connection between the employee’s theft and his employment to make it fair that the employer be held vicariously liable for the employees actions.
This case confirms the trend in this area of widening the test of vicarious liability. When evaluating the closeness of the connection between the wrongful act and the purposes for which the employee was employed the courts seem increasingly willing to find that the act was reasonably incidental to the purpose for which the employee was employed. For example, recently in the case of Maga v Trustees of the Birmingham Archidoceses of the Roman Catholic Church where the Diocese was held liable for the sexual abuse carried out by a priest who was only able to carry out his abusive acts because of his status and responsibility for youth work.
Employers should be alert to possibility that they need to provide supervision in potential areas of vulnerability.