Labour & European Law Review
15 March 2012
Following publication of a report showing that it will take about 40 years to achieve gender parity on European company boards, the European Commission last week announced a public consultation on the introduction of quotas.
It is well established in law that employers can be vicariously liable for the acts of their employees, if they were carried out in the course of their employment. In the conjoined cases of Weddall v Barchester Healthcare Ltd; Wallbank v Wallbank Fox Designs Ltd, the Court of Appeal said that employers can be held liable for the violent reaction of an employee to a reasonable instruction from another employee.
The Sex Discrimination Act (now replaced by the Equality Act) states that employers can be held liable for the discriminatory acts of their employees. In Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis v Weeks, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) said that even if a third party has committed those acts, the employer can still be held liable.