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Employers’ Liability Insurance

Why do you need employers’ liability insurance?

If you employ staff, you're legally required to have employers' liability insurance in place.1 As an employer, you're responsible for ensuring your staff are safe and well; most importantly, that they don't get sick or injured because of the work they do for you. Despite your best efforts, if one of your employees suffers an injury or becomes ill and believes it's your fault, they may try to claim compensation from you.

  • Workplace injuries
    Between 2019 and 2020, 0.7 million workers sustained a non-fatal injury,2 and 142 were killed between 2020 and 2021 due to a workplace accident.
  • Employee claims
    Suppose an employee or volunteer – past or present – makes a claim against you. In that case, employers' liability insurance will protect you against legal costs defending a claim. It will also cover any compensation you may be required to pay.
  • Health and safety inspections
    If you're unable to provide your certificate of insurance along with other insurance details at inspection, you may be fined.1

How our liability experts can help

We have years of experience in arranging this cover for businesses of different sizes across various industries. Whether as part of a combined insurance package or a standalone policy, we can advise you on the level of cover that's right for your business and arrange the appropriate insurance.

1. https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/hse40.pdf
2. https://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/overall/hssh1920.pdf
3. https://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/pdf/fatalinjuries.pdf

Management liability insurance

You've worked hard to make your business a success. But in today's world of regulations and legislation, someone pursuing legal action could put your livelihood at risk. As a company director, you could be held personally liable. We're here to offer expert guidance to find the protection that's right for you and your business.

Professional indemnity insurance

We understand every business is different. Whatever your needs, our team of professional indemnity insurance specialists are here to understand the risks you face and arrange the right cover to protect you and your business.

Frequently asked questions

Q
What does Employers' Liability Insurance cover?
A
Employers' liability insurance will help you pay compensation if an employee is injured or becomes ill because of the work they do for you. It can also cover legal and defence costs resulting from a claim.
Q
Do I need Employers’ Liability Insurance?
A
Yes. Under the Employers' Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 and 2008 amendment, all organisations that employ staff are required by law to have employers' liability insurance.
Q
Who needs Employers' Liability Insurance?
A
A If you employ staff, you're legally required to have employers' liability insurance in place.  As an employer, you're responsible for ensuring your staff are safe and well; most importantly, that they don't get sick or injured because of the work they do for you. Despite your best efforts, If one of your employees suffers an injury or becomes ill and believe it's your fault, they may try to claim compensation from you. If an employee or volunteer – past or present – makes a claim against you, employers' liability insurance will protect you against legal costs defending a claim. It will also cover any compensation you may be required to pay.
Q
Do I need Employers' Liability Insurance as a director?
A
A It's a legal requirement for most UK businesses to have employers' liability insurance. However, if you're the sole director of your limited company, owning 50% or more of the shares, and you have no employees, then you're not required to have employers' liability insurance in place.

You may find you'll need employers' liability insurance cover to secure client contracts.
Q
When do I need to get Employers' Liability cover?
A
A You need employers' liability cover in place from the day your business starts employing staff. Regardless of whether these staff members are paid or not, you are at risk of legal action from them. To qualify as a member of 'staff', a person does not have to be paid or under contract with you; it includes anyone you have a legal duty of care over. So, even sole traders may need employers' liability insurance.
Q
For what types of staff do I need Employers' Liability cover?
A

You need employers' liability insurance for all kinds of staff you employ. An 'employee' is not necessarily someone who you pay – it can be anyone under a contract of service. This may include volunteers or someone under your temporary control, whether on a contract or not, such as:

  • full-time employees
  • part-time employees
  • directors
  • voluntary workers
  • seasonal staff
  • contract staff
  • labour-only sub-contractors
  • students or work placements.

Q
Are there any exceptions to the type of employees I need to cover?
A
You may not need cover if you only employ a family member or someone who is based abroad – see http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/hse39.pdf for information. If you are a limited company most exceptions will not apply to you, unless the company employs only its owner, with that owner also holding over 50% of the issued share capital.
Q
Can employees claim even if my business goes into liquidation?
A
Yes. Employees injured because of your negligence can seek compensation even if your business goes into liquidation or receivership.
Q
What is the minimum cover I need to have in place?
A
You are legally required to have cover for compensation of at least £5 million, but most policies will offer cover for £10 millon. Your premium cost is usually based on several factors: the nature of your business, how many people you employ (and/or the payroll cost) and any previous insurance claims. In larger organisations, or where several employees are based in one location, increased limits are recommended.