It is easy to think of insurance as a headache or an expense you don’t need, however, whatever trade you do, if anyone works for you then you must have employer’s liability insurance, even if they are casual or temporary. In search of advice on insurance for tradesmen, I spoke to Blyth Valley who specialise in providing insurance for tradesmen.
What is employers’ liability insurance?
“Employers’ liability insurance is compulsory under the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969. You can be fined up to £2,500 for any day which you are without suitable insurance.”
Employers’ liability insurance means that in the event of a health and safety claim from one of your workers, you are covered and so can meet any resulting compensation costs incurred.
Do I need employers’ liability insurance?
Imagine this scenario: your mate calls asking if you’d mind taking his son under your wing for a couple of days work experience, you quickly agree. After all, Jonny’s a good kid and who knows, he might even lighten the load.
Jonny turns out to be a whiz. He works hard and learns fast. So fast, in fact, you’re considering offering him a trainee position when he finishes school. Then there’s a crash, a scream, and very soon you’re sitting in the accident and emergency waiting room. Jonny’s foot will heal soon enough, but you’ve some very irate parents on your case and a stern letter from the school mentioning employers’ liability insurance.
You’re self-employed – you don’t have any employees! You have never considered insurance for tradesmen. Surely Jonny wouldn’t be considered one? After all, he’s only getting some work experience and it’s not like you’re paying him.
Blyth Valley say “…look at it this way: for those few days, you have the right to control where and when Jonny works; you’re supplying the materials and equipment he uses and you’ve been treating him as you would a ‘normal’ employee. It could be argued that Jonny is your employee during those few days and as a result, you’re breaking the law by not having employers’ liability insurance.
“Before you take on an extra pair of hands, make sure you’ve got insurance for tradesmen in place – accidents at work do happen.”
“Even if your business already has employers’ liability insurance, it’s advisable to inform your insurance company if you take on volunteers of any kind. These volunteers may bring with them an exposure that your insurers should be aware of. Letting your insurers know keeps them happy and keeps your business covered.”
You can call Blyth Valley on 0845 370 9040 to discuss your requirements or visit Blyth Valley Business Insurance website for more advice on insurance for tradesmen and get government guidance on Employers’ Liability Insurance here.