What is Employer Liability?

Employer Liability is whereby an employing individual or company can be held liable to compensate for damages that may arise during the course of employment.

An injury compensation claim against your employer doesn’t always have to arise from an accident where somebody is at fault. It you aren’t given the correct training which as a result leaves you with an injury then the employer will be held liable regardless.  One of the most common situations is where employees injure their backs from incorrect lifting due to a lack of training.

An individual or company who employs people has a duty of care, ensuring the health and safety of their staff in the work place. The Employers’ Liability Act requires that all employers have at least a minimal level of insurance cover against any such claims.

The employer’s liability insurance will cover all relevant work injuries and illness whether they are caused off or on site.  However, illness or injury relating to a motor vehicle will generally be covered by the company’s motor insurance.

Will I be protected if I go on business abroad?

If you normally work in the UK then your employer by law must have employers’ liability insurance to ensure you are compensated if you become ill or are injured as a result of being employed with them.

Unfortunately, if you are based outside Great Britain then you will not be covered by your company’s employer’s liability insurance. However, it is worth checking the law in the country you are operating in to see if they require your employer to take out an insurance policy to protect you.

How do I find out the details of my employer’s insurance policy?

The law states that your employer must display a copy of their employer’s liability insurance certificate where staff can have easy access to it. If you have a company intranet they can usually be found here as an electronic certificate. If your employer doesn’t publicly display the firms’ employer’s liability insurance policy then they can be fined.

What should I look for on the employer’s liability insurance certificate?

The insurance certificate must contain the level of cover. At present the minimum level of cover an employer must take out is ?5 million. In reality, the majority of insurance companies offer at least ?10 million. The certificate must be signed by an FSA authorised insurer.

What happens if my illness or injury happened some time ago?

If you are seeking compensation then you will need to prove that the injury or illness you are now suffering from happened in the work related arena.  If you are awarded compensation then this will be related to the company’s insurance policy which they had at the time of the illness or injury.  Companies are advised to keep all records of employers’ liability insurance dating back to as far as possible. This is because some diseases and illnesses only appear years after exposure, such as a mesothelioma, a cancer caused by contact with asbestos.

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