As a responsible employer, the well-being of your employees is paramount. This naturally extends to protecting them from unforeseen circumstances that may arise in the workplace. This is where Employers' Liability Insurance (EL) becomes an essential safeguard.

Our team at Your Company Formations wants to ensure you have the information you need to make your business thrive while adhering to your legal responsibilities. This includes informing you about EL, a legal requirement for every company that hires employees.

Mandated by the Employers' Liability Act 1969, EL insurance acts as a financial safety net, protecting your business from the repercussions of work-related employee injuries or illnesses. It does this by covering:

  • Compensation payments: Should an employee win a legal claim for damages due to work-related harm, EL insurance ensures they receive fair compensation.
  • Legal fees: Navigating legal proceedings can be expensive. EL insurance shoulders the burden of legal costs incurred during employee claims, regardless of the outcome.
  • Defence costs: Even if your business successfully defends against a claim, EL insurance protects against the associated legal expenses.

By securing EL insurance for your company, you demonstrate a commitment to creating a safe and secure work environment and building employee trust and loyalty. Furthermore, you mitigate the risk of financial hardship arising from unforeseen circumstances, safeguarding the stability and future of your business.

Do I need to take out EL insurance?

As an employer, EL insurance is not an option but a legal requirement. Any business in the UK employing one or more individuals (excluding close family members) must hold a valid EL policy. Failure to comply can result in significant daily fines of £2,500, posing a substantial financial risk to your business.

It is important to note that employing close family members or individuals based abroad may exempt you from the EL requirement. However, it is crucial to seek professional advice for accurate confirmation. Additionally, neglecting to display your EL insurance or refusing to present your certificate to authorised inspectors can incur a separate fine of £1,000.

Who does employers’ liability insurance cover?

EL insurance extends its protection beyond just your standard full-time workforce. It encompasses a broader range of individuals associated with your business, ensuring they receive fair compensation in case of work-related injuries or illnesses. Here is a breakdown of who is covered by your EL insurance:

1: Core Workforce:
  • Full-time and part-time employees: Your permanent and flexible staff constitute the heart of your operations, and EL insurance safeguards them against work-related harm.
2: Extended Workforce:
  • Self-employed contractors you hire: Even if they technically operate independently, contractors remain under your responsibility when working for you. EL insurance covers them in case of work-related incidents.
  • Temporary staff, apprentices, and volunteers: These individuals contribute valuable services, and EL insurance ensures their welfare is protected during their temporary engagement with your business.
3: Additional Considerations:
  • People taking part in work experience or training schemes: Offering valuable learning opportunities comes with specific responsibilities. EL insurance extends its coverage to these individuals participating in your programs.

While we have created this overview to highlight the most common categories covered by EL insurance, consulting with a qualified insurance professional is crucial to determine the specific scope of coverage offered by your chosen policy. This ensures comprehensive protection for all individuals connected to your business operations.

What about employing volunteers?

While volunteers contribute valuable services, their classification can sometimes confuse insurance requirements. However, the law views volunteers who work under your direction as your responsibility, placing you under the same legal obligation to carry EL insurance as paid employees.

Failing to secure EL coverage for your volunteers can lead to severe financial repercussions. If an accident or illness occurs under your supervision, and you lack proper insurance, you could face:

  • Daily fines of £2,500: Each day without valid EL insurance incurs this substantial penalty, posing a significant financial risk to your organisation.
  • Compensation costs: Should a volunteer win a legal claim for damages due to work-related harm, you'll be personally liable for the compensation payment.
  • Legal fees: The burden of legal expenses associated with the claim falls entirely on your shoulders, regardless of the outcome.

While most volunteers fall under EL coverage requirements, specific circumstances can create ambiguity. Consulting with a qualified insurance broker ensures comprehensive protection by clarifying volunteer classification and tailoring your policy to meet your particular needs.

How much does employers’ liability insurance cost?

Working out the exact cost of EL insurance you need can be complex, as various factors influence the premium amount. While a one-size-fits-all solution doesn't exist, understanding these essential elements can help you navigate the process:

1: Business Profile:
  • Industry and Risk Level: Businesses involved in higher-risk activities, such as construction or manufacturing, naturally incur higher premiums. Your insurance provider will assess your industry's inherent risks to determine the appropriate pricing.
  • Number of Employees: The size of your workforce directly impacts your premium. More employees translate to greater potential claims, influencing the overall cost.
  • Payroll System: How you pay your staff matters. If you manage payroll directly, the premium tends to be higher compared to using an umbrella company or accountant.
2: Additional Considerations:
  • Claims History: Businesses with a history of employee claims can expect higher premiums, reflecting the increased risk.
  • Policy Limits: The maximum compensation amount covered by your policy (typically £5 million minimum) also influences the cost.
  • Optional Coverages: Adding specialised extensions to your EL policy can further adjust the total premium.

While online quotes can provide a starting point, seeking guidance from a qualified insurance broker is highly recommended. They can analyse your specific business needs, compare various options, and negotiate competitive rates based on your unique profile. This personalised approach ensures you obtain the most cost-effective and comprehensive EL insurance solution for your business.

Further recommended reading:

As your business grows and expands, you may wonder about registering it for VAT. For help and guidance, read our post, Do I Need to Register My Company for VAT?

Your original creative works will automatically benefit from copyright protection in the UK, but to ensure proper protection, you should officially register it. Find out how to do this in our guide, How to Register Copyright in the UK.

Thousands of satisfied Company Formation Clients:

Our Customers Rate Our Corporate Services as Excellent on Trustpilot

The company's explanation vide…

The company's explanation videos and the sheer amount of relevant information made me choose them. A...

Ahmed Hassn, 45 minutes ago

The company's explanation vide…

The company's explanation videos and the sheer amount of relevant information made me choose them. A...

Ahmed Hassn, 45 minutes ago

customer customer customer

Register your company today

Enter your company name to check availability
and view our packages