What is Employers’ Liability Insurance?
Employers’ Liability covers the legal defense and compensation costs brought forward after an employee makes a claim as a result of injury, harm or illness caused by working for your business.
Whilst it may be considered that making a claim is only applicable for when an employee is working for a business in the present, past employees can also start a claim if they have suffered from long-term harm just by working for your business, this can go back many years or decades, hearing loss for example is a typical one.
An Employers’ Liability claim could also arise because of the employers’ lack of duty and disregard. This could be for many reasons, the training provided is inadequate or no training at all, disregard for health and safety in general.
A few examples of claims Employers Liability can protect against are:
- Inadequate training, where an employee who is hired with starter experience is expected to operate dangerous, heavy-duty machinery. The employer doesn’t provide them with thorough or sufficient training to properly ensure safety, so an injury during the operation of the machine occurs. The employee then makes a claim for compensation.
- When an employer fails to ensure equipment is safe to use at all times. For instance, the same heavy-duty machinery as above requires regular maintenance. The employer fails to carry out the required maintenance, which could mean the machinery is no longer safe to use. In this case, the employee still needs to complete tasks given by the employer, so they use the machinery anyway, despite it being potentially unsafe. This leads to a terrible accident where the employee is seriously harmed. This also has consequences in other areas where a director could be held personally responsible.
- Employees can suffer from long term health problems due to working in certain conditions or environments. Some workplaces require employees to handle or work with harsh and dangerous chemicals or irritants, dust from use of machinery and of course, noise are typical examples. All of which for the sake of health and safety, require the proper equipment or Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Long term exposure can lead to health conditions such as respiratory or hearing problems or perhaps even cardiovascular problems. These types of claims come under Employers’ Liability Insurance, many claims of harm or illness caused by working for a business and the employer’s negligence of duty of care would usually be covered by Employers’ Liability.
- Of course, there are many scenarios that fall under an Employers’ Liability Insurance policy. The three short examples above only provide a very brief summary, those examples aren’t limited, the circumstances can change with any business and the consequences can worsen.
Why does my business need Employers’ Liability Insurance?
As we already know, it is a legal requirement to have Employers insurance cover when you have employees. Whether they are only part-time, labour-only subcontractors, or even unpaid volunteers and interns. Being an employer, you are responsible for the health and well-being of your staff. If anything fails or standards are not met, you and your business can be held liable.
Circumstances may arise where an employee becomes seriously injured and you do not have sufficient funds to cover the compensation and any other costs that come along, that’s where Employers’ Liability Insurance comes in.
Do all businesses need Employers’ Liability Insurance?
There are exceptions and we always suggest that if you are not certain then you seek professional advice.
An excellent guide to what an employee is under the Employers’ Liability Act 1969, provided by the government. You can download the PDF and take a look to find out more information.
Who is not required to have Employers’ Liability Insurance?
Whilst it is a legal requirement for a business to have Employers’ Liability when you have people working for you, there are some circumstances where businesses can be exempt from it.
For example, if you’re a sole trader business with no employees at all (that’s a given) or if you’re a family-owned business that only hires family members.
A Limited Liability Company is a little more complex, however, essentially employers’ liability is a requirement irrespective of the people employed.
According to the government guidance though, a single director with 50% or more shareholdings can be excluded from taking Employers Liability Insurance.
What is ELTO (Employers’ Liability Tracing Office)?
Once upon a time, Employers Liability was just something a business purchased because they had to have it, it provided cover for accidents, illness etc, all the things we have seen above, a great idea for the “now” (or then) however the longer-term problems were probably not considered…
As time moved on claims began to arise where the insurer at the time providing cover was either unknown or had been taken over or merged or in some cases just ceased to trade.
This presented a problem, particularly for the defending company but also for the claimant so in 2011 the Employers Liability Tracing Office was established. This in simple terms is just a very large database that contains the details of millions of insurance policies going back over 100 years and still continues to grow.
You can find out more about ELTO and what it does at the ELTO website.
My insurer has asked for my Employer Reference Number, why is this?
Whilst there may be many possible ways to record insurance details for ELTO, the most effective identifier to associate an insurance policy with a company was via their Employer Reference Number, or commonly referred to as an ERN.
When you change insurer or incept a new policy with your insurer you will almost certainly be asked to provide an ERN, which isn’t always easy for people to find.
Finding your ERN might be much easier than you think, just find any correspondence that you have received from HMRC, and your ERN will be shown. The number you have will be unique as it is related to payroll.
How much does Employers’ Liability cost?
This is one of those how long is a piece string questions, the amount you pay in premium depends on so many factors it’s impossible to list all as it changes by job descriptions, sectors worked in, as you would expect someone with an office job is not rated the same as someone hanging off a building cleaning windows.
Speak to us about what your business does, we can take it from there, we can discuss your needs and provide the best terms from our vast range of insurer markets.
Where can I get my Employers’ Liability Insurance cover in place?
At Real Insurance Group, we are here to help you. Having worked with businesses all across the UK for many years, we know what covers your business needs.
All of our commercial team, from account executives and account handlers, never treat clients as just another number. We certainly are not a call centre, and we don’t use AI and we aren’t completely digital either. Yes, everything gets done digitally but you get to speak to a real person from our team who will know exactly what your business requires.
Speak to us about your insurance requirements.
Contact us on 0330 058 0260