ACTS of negligence on the part of the employer is not required to support a claim for compensation under the Workmens Compensation Acts in respect of an accident arising out of and in the course of employment and resulting in death or incapacity, partial or total. Blood poisoning following a slight injury received at work is within these Acts. Women as well as men servants can claim, but not casual workers. A window cleaner, it has been held, cannot claim, though he calls to clean the windows when required, as the court is not prepared to extend the Act to persons oalled in to do a job of work when requirsd, and indeed, casual workers are specifically oxcluded.
On the other hand, periodical employment is not casual. A charwoman or gardener employed once a week without a separate request each time is within the Act. In fatal cases, such members of the deceaseds family as were wholly or in part dependent upon his earnings are entitled to claim compensation which is limited to a maximum of £600.
Payment for Disablement
For total disablement a weekly payment of not more than 50 per cent, of the injured persons average weekly earnings, with a maximum of 30-, is payable. Partial incapacity is compensated in proportion to the extent of the injury. No payment is payable for the first three days unless the incapacity extends over four weeks.
For the torts of servant committed in the course of his employment as a servant or incidental thereto the master is liable. Even the frauds of the servant may sometimes throw responsibility on the master, and even where the servant acted contrary to his orders this responsibility may exist. When a chauffeur by his negligence in dealing with petrol caused a fire the court held that his master was liable.
By acting unlawfully a servant may exceed his authority and in that case no liability falls on the master. Criminal acts are never justified. A servant who commits a crime, even at the express command of his master, must answer for it as well as the master.