Employers’ Liability Insurance

Protect your business against Employers’ Liability claims and meet legal requirements with an Employers’ Liability Insurance policy through Swinton.


Call us now to get a quote: 0333 035 9524

What is Employers’ Liability Insurance?

Employers’ Liability Insurance protects your business and you, as an employer, from claims made by employees. It ensures that, if an employee is injured or becomes ill as a result of their work, you can cover the cost of compensation, as well as legal fees that you may incur.

Employers’ Liability Insurance can be valuable to have in case of events like the following:

  • An employee is struck by a falling object on a building site
  • A cleaner is harmed when working with a hazardous substance
  • An employee slips as a result of a wet floor in your office


What does Employers’ Liability Insurance cover?

With Employers’ Liability coverage, your insurance provider pays out in the event of a claim for an accident or illness as a result of work. It covers:

  • Loss of earnings
  • Medical costs
  • Home adaptation costs
  • Transport costs

Policies cover all eventualities:

  • Slips and trips
  • Long-term illness
  • Life-changing injury
  • Fatality

All types of employees are covered:

  • Full and part-time workers
  • Self-employed contractors
  • Temporary employees
  • Volunteers
  • Apprentices and work experience students
  • Ex-employees


Is Employers’ Liability Insurance compulsory?

For all businesses with at least one UK-based employee, Employers’ Liability Insurance is a legal requirement, due to the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969. Under the act, all businesses with at least one UK-based employee — either full-time, part-time, temporary, casual or a contractor — must have Employers’ Liability Insurance. There are some exceptions to this, like if you employ a family member, so check where you stand before committing to a policy.

According to Gov.uk, your policy needs to cover you for at least £5 million. It must also be purchased from an authorised insurer – you can check this via the Financial Conduct Authority register.

Beware that if you do not have a valid Employers’ Liability Insurance policy, you could be fined £2,500 for each day you’re not properly insured.

You can find out more information about the law behind Employers’ Liability here (PDF 306KB).


What’s the difference between Employers’ Liability and Public Liability?

Businesses that have Employers’ Liability Insurance may also require Public Liability Insurance. These two policies cover separate parts of your business. While Employers’ Liability Insurance insures employees, Public Liability insures you against claims made by members of the public.

If the general public comes into contact with your business in any way, you might consider investing in Public Liability Insurance. This policy will help protect your business against claims of injury or damage made by a member of the public. Both Public Liability and Employers’ Liability could play a part in the everyday workings of your business. Employers’ Liability is a legal requirement for businesses with employees.

At Swinton Business, we can arrange Public Liability Insurance alongside Employers’ Liability Insurance, so both fall under one policy.


Why consider Swinton for your Employers’ Liability Insurance?

When you have Employers’ Liability cover through Swinton, you’re investing in peace of mind, as well as meeting your legal obligations to have the correct cover in place:

  • Employers’ Liability Insurance covers you for £10 million as standard, with available extensions
  • Separate Public Liability is also available as an add-on if you come into contact with the public as part of the daily running of your business

Optional separate cover is available for business equipment and tools.


Call us now to get a quote: 0333 035 9524



Frequently asked questions

Businesses can be fined up to £1,000 for not displaying an Employers’ Liability Insurance certificate, or for being unable to show it when asked by an inspector. Thankfully, your certificate is sent to you digitally when you take out a Swinton Business EL policy — ready for you to print, display and keep within your digital records.

The cost of Employers’ Liability Insurance depends on the size and scope of your business, as well as the number of employees that you have. Getting a quote is easy. All you need to do is answer a few simple questions about your company.

Call us now to get a quote: 0333 060 5877

Although Employers’ Liability is a legal requirement for most businesses with employees, there are some exceptions.

You will not need Employers’ Liability if your business:

  • Is a Limited company employing just one person, and that person also owns more than 50% of the share capital
  • Is a registered sole trader with one employee who is the head of the business
  • Is a partnership with equal-share directors, and no other employees
  • Is a public organisation, health service, or government body
  • Is a family company where all employees are family members

Legally, your insurance must cover you for at least £5 million. As a business, you should carefully assess your risks and liabilities, and consider whether you require more cover than this.

Yes — your liability extends to everyone you employ, including volunteers.

Although volunteers are not legally considered to be employees, Employers’ Liability Insurance typically covers claims they bring against your business. Please check your policy information to find out whether your insurer covers volunteer claims.

You may need to inform your insurer when you take on a new volunteer; failure to do so may mean that a related claim is rejected. Check your policy information for more details about your chosen insurer’s notification procedure.

In most cases, yes. You will need Employers’ Liability Insurance to cover temporary workers if:

  • The business deducts NI and tax from income paid by your business
  • The business has the right to control where, when, and how they work
  • The business supplies their work materials and equipment
  • The business has the right to profit made by workers, even if it is shared with them through commission, performance pay or shares
  • The business requires that only the hired person completes the job
  • The workers do the same work under the same conditions as other employees

You may not need ELI to cover temporary workers if:

  • They don’t work exclusively for you (e.g. as an independent contractor)
  • They supply their own equipment and materials
  • They are agency staff
  • They can employ a substitute when unable to complete work themselves
  • Your business does not deduct tax or NI

However, if someone is self-employed for tax reasons they may still be classed as an employee for other purposes, and Employers’ Liability Insurance may still be needed. Check your policy or speak to your insurer to make sure that you will be covered.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) enforces Employers’ Liability law. Inspectors will check that you are insured with an approved insurer for at least £5 million. Businesses can be fined up to £2,500 for each day that they do not have Employers’ Liability cover. Remember to keep your policy certificate prominently displayed, or easily accessible, as inspectors may ask to see it.

An employee is entitled to sue a business for the value of their claim. If the business has no insurance, the business will have to deal with the claim itself rather than through an insurance company. The business will also have breached the law by not having the insurance in place.

Yes, former employees are entitled to make claims against previous employers. This is due to the nature of illnesses and injuries — they may only present themselves after a certain period, or the full extent of costs incurred may only be known after a certain period. A good example of this is asbestosis, which takes around 30 years to present.

There are plenty of practical ways you can reduce the risk of an employee or ex-employee claiming you. Both the employer and the employee are responsible for safety at work. Find out more from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Be sure to:

  • Prepare a Health and Safety policy
  • Carry out regular health and safety training for staff members
  • Create an environment where workers can suggest improvements to ways of working
  • Understand and display the law on posters or leaflets
  • Carry out regular risk assessments, and keep records of this
  • Provide PPE (and training on using and storing PPE correctly)
  • Regularly monitor and review health and safety procedure to ensure that it is up to date
  • Have a First Aid trained member of staff available at all times
  • Have adequate facilities like toilets and sinks

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