Insurance 101

What is employers' liability insurance?

If your team is as important as ours, you'll already be looking out for their safety and wellbeing. But you can't control everything. If one of your employees suffers an illness or injury as a result of the work they're doing for you, your business could be liable.

Well fear not, Employers' Liability Insurance cover can ease some of those sleepless nights. If an employee makes a claim against you for illness or injuries sustained at work, you'll be covered for the fallout. That includes legal expenses and compensation.

You'll also avoid paying potentially expensive fines to the Health and Safety Executive, whose job it is to ensure you fulfil your responsibility as an employer.

Who is employers' liability insurance for

There's no getting away from it. If you are a UK business with one or more employees (other than public organisations) then employers' liability insurance is a legal requirement.

It's not just permanent employees either. If you employ contractors, casual, temporary or part-time staff, you also need cover. The only exceptions are immediate family members and employees working abroad – although the latter may be covered under similar laws where they are based.

What are the risks

Employees can claim for any number of reasons. Whether breaking an ankle tripping over a cable, suffering eye strain from computer use, or stress from a high pressure environment.

It is also becoming easier to claim, with the rise of 'no win no fee' legal services and the so-called compensation culture. Any damages and legal expenses could seriously set your business back, not to mention any damage to your professional reputation.

Things you can do

Staying on top of workplace health and safety is a great start, helping you avoid any accidents and injuries before it's too late. The Health and Safety Executive is the oracle of advice and regulation on this subject, so consult its website to find out what you need to be aware of and how to assess the risks.

Things to watch out for

If you employ staff and don't have employers' liability insurance, you could be fined £2,500 for each day you don't have it. Your EL certificate must be displayed – either on your premises or online – and be made available to inspectors. Failure to do so could result in a £1,000 fine.

Read the "Ultimate Guide to Fintech & Startup Insurance"