Employers’ Liability Insurance – Everything You Need To Know


Whether you're a photographer hiring an assistant, an artist collaborating with others or a designer managing a small team, as soon as you take on the role of an employer, there's a heightened layer of responsibility that follows.

One of these critical responsibilities is ensuring the safety and well-being of those working under your direction. Navigating the intricate world of insurance can seem daunting, but it's essential – especially as employers’ liability insurance is a legal requirement if you have employees.

What is Employers’ Liability Insurance?

At its core, employers' liability insurance is designed to offer protection for employers against the cost of compensation claims arising from employee illness or injury sustained as a result of their work for you.

These claims could arise from workplace accidents or from long-term health issues related to the job.

How much does Employers’ Liability Insurance cost?

The cost can vary greatly depending on several factors, including the type of business, the number of employees and the specific nature of their roles.

For creative enterprises, such as photography studios or artisan workshops, the risk might be different than for a construction company, for instance.

What does Employers Liability Insurance cover?

Typically, this insurance covers the cost of compensation and legal fees for employees who are injured or fall ill at work through the fault of the employer.

This could range from a photographer's assistant getting injured while carrying heavy equipment, to an artist's apprentice suffering from prolonged exposure to certain materials without proper safety measures.

Employers' Liability Act 1969 and Employers' Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969

These are two key pieces of legislation in the UK that relate to employers' liability insurance. The latter, the Employers Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969, made it mandatory for employers to hold a minimum level of insurance to cover against claims made by employees for injuries or ill-health caused at work.

Do I need Employers Liability Insurance?

If you employ anyone, even on a casual or part-time basis, the law typically requires you to have employers' liability insurance. This ensures that you have at least the minimum cover if an employed person makes a claim against you.

Who is exempt from Employers' Liability Insurance?

Almost all businesses that have employees need to have this insurance. There are few exemptions, such as family businesses where all employees are closely related (this doesn't include spouses).

Non-limited businesses where the owner is the sole employee are also exempt.

Self-Employed Staff and Employers' Liability Insurance

If you hire staff on a self-employed basis, it depends on the nature of the relationship whether you need to have employers’ liability in place or not.

If they work exclusively for you, use your equipment and work under your direction, they may be considered employees for the purposes of the insurance, even if they're technically self-employed.

Sole Traders and Employers' Liability Insurance

As a sole trader, if you don’t have any employees or only employ close family members, you typically don't need Employers' Liability insurance. However, if you decide to hire, even on a casual basis, the landscape changes and the need for this insurance becomes paramount.

Written by

Luke Glassford

Marketing Director

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