Employment Law

6 Common Law Duties

“The employer has an implied duty under common law to take reasonable care of his employees; he must select proper staff, materials and provide a safe working environment. On the other hand employees must have duty to work honestly with reasonable skill and care.

Case law: Hivac Ltd v Park Royal Scientific Instruments Ltd 1946.

6.1 Employees Duties

There are following implied duties of employees.

  1. Employees have fundamental duty of faithful service toward his employer.
  2. They have duty to work with competence.
  3. Employees have duty to obey all the instructions given by his employer.
    Case law: Pepper v Webb 1969
  4. Employees have duty to work with care because employers are not liable against the personal negligence of employees.
  5. Employees have duty to disclose all their accounts, income and property earned during the course of employment.
    Case law: Boston Deep Sea Fishing and Ice CO v Ansell 1888
  6. Employees have duty to perform all the work on their own so they cannot delegate their duties to anyone else.
  7. Employees have duty to comply all the legal and ethical requirements relating with occupation, health and safety.

6.2 Employers Duties

There is an overriding duty of mutual trust and confidence between employer and employee.

  • Employer has following duties under common law,
  • To pay reasonable remuneration or salary to employees
  • To indemnify the losses or expenses incur in course of employment by the employees and then reimburse those expenses.
  • To provide safe and healthy working environment
  • To provide reasonable work to employees and avoid work load.

Case law: William Hill Organization v Tucker 1998

7 Statutory Duties

Terms implied by statue and which is not usually overridden.

Statutory duties applied to employers in following areas:

  • Pay and Equality
  • Time off Work
  • Maternity Rights and balance work life
  • Health and safety
  • Work time

Continuous Employment

Many rights of employee under Employment Right Act 1996 can only be available if employee has specific period of continuous employment

Continuous Employment period is usually the period of twelve month.

Transfer of Undertaking:

When business transfer from one person to another and same employee work for new employer, this change represent no break in the continuous service