Is the law of vicarious liability still ‘on the move’? Barclays Bank plc v Various Claimants  UKSC 13
The 126 claimants in this case were all employees of Barclays Bank who, at the start of their employment between the late 1960s and early 1980s, were required to undergo a medical examination. Examinations were carried out by Dr Bates (now deceased), a general practitioner who was not an employee of the Bank but engaged as an independent contractor to provide this service, and did so at his home. The Claimants alleged that they were sexually assaulted by Dr Bates while undergoing this examination and brought a group action against the Bank for compensation. A preliminary issue was whether Barclays could be vicariously liable for his actions.
At first instance, the High Court found that Barclays had been vicariously liable. The Court of Appeal agreed, applying the five-part test in Various Claimants v Catholic Child Welfare Society  UKSC 56, and Cox v Ministry of Justice  UKSC 10.
Supreme Court Decision (Lady Hale) - the key issue was whether the relationship between Dr Bates and Barclays was ‘akin to employment’. The Supreme Court held unanimously that it was not.