chapter  14
22 Pages

EMPLOYERS’ LIABILITY

Common law duties are important from the employment law perspective, but one factor which complicates this area of law is that it is interspersed with statutory provisions, breaches of which may give rise to an action for breach of statutory duty in some cases. Indeed, most claims for breach of statutory duty arise in the employment situation, as so many statutes have been enacted to provide safer work environments and to protect employees from exploitation by unscrupulous employers who are prepared to cut corners on safety in order to increase productivity. The tort of breach of statutory duty is dealt with in Chapter 9. However, it must not be forgotten that conditions for employees have also improved considerably through the efforts of judges in modifying the common law rules which for many years prevented successful claims by employees against their employers. Claims for breach of statutory duty are of greater assistance to employees than ordinary negligence claims because the burden of proof is reversed once the statutory duty is established.