Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/2187

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1977
LEGAL MEMORANDA

respect to her separate property subject to the bankruptcy laws in the same way as if she were unmarried.

General Provisions with regard to Married Women.—A married woman may be an executrix or trustee. A married woman having separate property is liable for the maintenance of her husband if he becomes chargeable to the parish. She is also subject to the same liability as her husband for the maintenance of her children and grandchildren, but her husband is in no way relieved from his liability.

MASTER AND SERVANT[1]

The Master's Duties.

Supply of food, lodging, clothing and medical attendance.—In the absence of agreement to the contrary, a master is bound to supply his servant with food and lodging, but he is not legally bound to provide him with medical attendance or medicine. If, however, the servant falls ill and the master i alls in his own doctor, he cannot deduct the doctor's fees from the servant's wages, except by special agreement. If a master neglect to provide food or lodging he may become not only liable to an action by the servant, but also criminally responsible for his neglect, if it be wilful and the effect of such neglect is that the life of the servant is endangered or his health is, or is likely to be, permanently injured.

Payment of wages.—No deduction can be made from wages for breakages or damage to property, in the absence of special agreement to that effect. Wages in arrear may be recovered in the County Court, and the servant, though under the age of twenty-one, may sue in his, or her own name. [2] Instead of providing the servant with food the master may, if he prefers, give "board wages" wherewith to procure it. Such wages must be sufficient to enable the servant to procure what is reasonably necessary for his maintenance. If such is the case, the servant cannot object; otherwise he may leave, and will be entitled to the remedies for wrongful dismissal.

Indemnity of Servant.—A master is bound to indemnify his servant against the direct, but not indirect, consequences of any act done by him in pursuance of the master's orders, provided that the act itself was not one which the servant knew, or must be presumed to have known, was illegal or unlawful.

The Servant's Duties.

To obey lawful orders.—It matters not how inconvenient or unreasonable the orders may be, provided they are lawful and within the scope of the employment.

To exercise care in the performance of his, or her, duties.

To abstain from doing that which he ought not to do— What a servant must not do only becomes of practical importance when he has, in fact, committed one or other of the prohibited acts, and thus given cause for his immediate dismissal see Reasons for Dismissal.

Termination of the Contract of Service.

By dismissal [3] 1 With notice.—By custom, the agreement is determinable by a calendar month's notice, or a month's wages in lieu of notice. "Wages" means ordinary, and not board, wages. The custom which is sometimes alleged to exist—that in the absence of any special agreement a master or servant may determine the service at the end of the first calendar month

  1. The statements under this head are limited in their application to Domestic Servants.
  2. In other actions in the County Court, or in the High Court, an action by a person under twenty-one can only be brought on his behalf by his "next friend," i.e. his father or other near relation.
  3. If a servant who has been lawfully dismissed refuses to leave the premises, he may be removed by force; but the prudent course will be to call in the police, though they will not actively interfere so long as the servant is on private premises, unless the master is prepared to give the servant in charge involves trouble, if not risk.