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Take Out Employers’ Liability Insurance to Protect You and Your Employees
Posted by David Cant on March 24, 2014
1 Comment

HSE red bookEmployers’ Liabilty Insurance

Injuries and illnesses to your employees while they are working for you is a reality. When this occurs and they believe you are responsible, it is likely they will seek some compensation. You need to protect your employees and also protect yourself with Employers’ Liability Insurance. The health and safety of your workers is your responsibility but not always, and this cover gives you some level of insurance cover against many kinds of claims employees can make. If only Mr. Jason Mawson, a window cleaning firm boss, could move back the clock.

What a hot head does to you…

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) brought down the whip on 44-year-old Jason Mawson of Grey Street, Crook, for criminal offense. The We-aredale Cleaning boss was guilty of breaching the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969.

Jason Mawson owns a window cleaning firm in County Durham and as an employer, he was required by law to insure against liability for illnesses and injuries of his employees sustained while working for him. A HSE inspector invited Mr. Mawson on several occasions to voluntarily produce his certificate of insurance but he failed to do so. He also ignored a formal notice sent on 3 September 2013 to produce the same.

On 27 February 2014, Darlington Magistrates’ Court found him guilty of failure to prove he had the required insurance to enable his employees to claim injury compensation. The court fined him £100 and also ordered him to pay £755.05 in costs.

What is employers’ liability insurance?

In a few words, this is compulsory insurance. As an employer, it makes it possible for you to meet the compensation costs for employees who are injured or fall ill on or off site. It also covers the cost of legal fees involved. However, should the injuries or illness occur as a result of a motor accident, your motor insurance will provide the necessary cover.

Employers’ liability insurance is a compulsory cover if you have employees in England, Wales, and Scotland, but not those based abroad unless the laws of the country demand that you take measures such as taking out insurance to protect them. You will also need it for employees who are based abroad but spend over seven days on offshore installations or 14 days within Great Britain.

The employees qualified for this cover

Employers’ liability insurance is dependent on the terms of the contracts you have with your employees, whether written, spoken or implied. What is relevant is the nature of the relationship you have with them and how much you control what they do. The employees you are not obliged to get the insurance for include those who also work for other people, employ substitutes when they are unavailable, derive a personal benefit for working for you, supply the materials and equipment they use in their job, and are exempt from national insurance or income tax. In some cases, interns and volunteers do not need you to get additional employer’s liability insurance.

When you fail, the music comes from HSE

Now the big question is what happens to you when you fail to get employers’ liability insurance. The Health and Safety Executive is the enforcer of this law. There are inspectors who confirm that your employers’ liability insurance is at least £5 million and provided by an approved insurer. The insurer will usually give you a certificate of insurance and you should display a copy in full view of your employees.

Failure to have suitable insurance can cost you as much as £2500 on any day in fines. When the HSE inspectors come calling, have your certificate on display or make it available to them to avoid a fine of up to £1000.

Let us help you get the right insurance for your firm. Call us today on 0800 1488 677 and talk to one of our experienced customer care agents.


Director at Veritas Consulting. The SME's favourite go-to consultant for health and safety know-how. Bucket loads of experience. Fluent in practical advice. Solutionist with a brain you can pick.

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One Comment

  1. June 2, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Informative post regarding employers liability insurance. I am really grateful that you have shared most of the information regarding this insurance policy and creating a awareness program. Thanks once again.

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