This week we turn our focus to working with contractors. It is often thought that as a contractor is not technically your employee there are limits to your responsibilities in terms of that individual. Whilst this is true to some extent, a recent number of cases have looked at liability in cases where an individual works for you but is not employed.
In a 2017 case whereby a group of individuals took Barclays Bank to the tribunal on the basis of the actions of a doctor performing a pre-employment medical on behalf of the bank acting inappropriately. In this case, it was established that as the doctor was acting on behalf of the bank and that assessments he was conducting were only for the benefit of the bank. This led to the conclusion that vicarious liability existed between the bank and the doctor and therefore the bank could be held accountable for the actions.
It is important that you consider all individuals who work for you regardless of how they are engaged and here are some things to consider:
- Identify everyone who you may be liable for including contractors, occasional staff and project staff.
- Identify who in the business is responsible for supporting that individual. Ensure each person is allocated to a manager who can ensure that they receive appropriate guidance and inductions.
- Identify any safeguards that you need to put in place.
- Set out your expectations to the individual, ideally in a face to face meeting which is documented. You could also do this in a letter.
- Put in place monitoring, consider how you will check quality and approach.
If you have any questions or need any support with this or any HR matter please get in touch.