Report No. 01
22. Defence of common employment.-
The defence of common employment was negatived by the Law Reform (Personal Injuries) Act, 1948 and any provision in a contract excluding or limiting the liability of an employer for personal injuries caused to an employee by the negligence of persons in common employment with him is void. By implication, section 2(1)(a) of the Crown Proceedings Act would also apply to torts committed by a servant against his co-employee as he would be in the position of a stranger.
Section 4 of the Act expressly mentions the Law Reform (Married Women and Tortfeasors) Act, 1935 as binding on the Crown but does not mention the Fatal Accidents Act. The Law Reform (Personal Injuries) Act, 1948 itself provides that it is binding on the Crown (section 4). Section 10(1) creates an exception in respect of the Armed Forces and enacts an absolute doctrine of common employment. Section 10(2) creates another exception.