Events of all kinds are happening all around us. In fact, all of us turn into organizers in some capacity at times. You always try your best to make your event successful. You put in the time and effort to make sure it is free of snags and glitches. But, in the process you should not forget the importance and the well being of your employees. The people working in your employment may, in certain cases, be victims of some harm or injury. At this stage, our event employers liability insurance policy comes to your rescue.

Employers Liability Insurance with an Indemnity level of £10,000,000 – Protects your legal liability in respect of compensation, claimants costs and expenses for accidental bodily injury to anyone you employ at an event, including temporary staff, volunteers, helpers, whether paid or unpaid.

This policy is not specific to a certain section of the event employers. In fact, there are policy options available for events for all sizes. So, you can opt for this insurance cover irrespective of whether you are organizing a small event for close relatives or a large country fair.

In addition, you should be aware that there are optional forms of cover, such as property or cancellation insurance. Obviously the organizer must always weigh up the operating costs against the premiums required, but should a mishap or even a catastrophe occur, the costs of the claim could be devastating if adequate insurance has not been purchased.

Employers are responsible for the health and safety of their employees while they are at work. Your employees may be injured at work or they, or your former employees, may become ill or disabled as a result of their work while in your employment. If it is felt that their injury/illness is or has been caused by your negligence then the probability is you will receive a claim from their legal advisers. The Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 makes it a directive by law that you as an employer must have at least a minimum level of Employers Liability insurance cover.

Employers’ liability insurance will enable you to meet the cost of compensation claims, should this be necessary without any financial worries. Injury or Illness to employees can be caused on or off site and can even materialise some years later. However, any injuries and illness relating to motor accidents that occur while your employees are working for you may be covered separately by your motor insurance.

Public Liability Insurance does not provide indemnity for injury or illness to Employees. You must have Employers Liability. Public Liability does however provide indemnity to you the Employer should any employee cause injury or illness to any members of the public or other businesses. Unlike Employers Liability, Public liability insurance is not compulsory and generally voluntary, however no person should consider trading without it, the financial implications of a claim against you are immense. As previously stated Employers’ liability insurance is compulsory by law,  you can be fined heavily if you are an employer and cannot produce a current employers’ liability certificate of insurance or current policy document which complies with current legislation.

If any of your employees are normally based in England, Scotland or Wales or Northern Ireland (including offshore installations or associated structures) you must have employers’ liability insurance. Under the law in Great Britain you do not need employers’ liability insurance to cover any of your employees who are based abroad (e.g. if they are on secondment). However, you should check whether the law in the country where they are based requires you to take out insurance or take any other measures to protect your employees. If any of your employees are normally based abroad but spend more than 14 days continuously in Great Britain, or more than seven days on an offshore installation, under the law in Great Britain you will need employers’ liability insurance for them.

You need employers’ liability insurance unless you are exempt from the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act.

The following employers are exempt:*

  • Most public organisations including government departments and agencies, local authorities, police authorities and nationalised industries;
  • Health service bodies, including National Health Service trusts, health authorities, primary care trusts and Scottish health boards;
  • Some other organisations which are financed through public funds, such as passenger transport executives and magistrates’ courts committees;
  • Family businesses, ie if all of your employees are closely related to you (as husband, wife, civil partner, father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, stepfather, stepmother, son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, stepson, stepdaughter, brother, sister, half-brother or half-sister). However, this exemption does not apply to family businesses which are incorporated as limited companies;
  • Companies employing only their owner where that employee also owns 50% or more of the issued share capital in the company.

* Further exemptions from the need to have employers’ liability insurance are listed at section 3(1)(a) and section 3(1)(b) of the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969, and Schedule 2 to the 1998 Regulations.

You are only required by law to have employers’ liability insurance for people who you employ under a contract of service or apprenticeship.

Whether or not you need employers’ liability insurance for someone who works for you depends on the terms of your contract with them. This contract can be spoken, written or implied. It does not matter whether you usually call someone an employee or self-employed or what their tax status is. Whether you choose to call your contract a contract of employment or a contract for services is largely irrelevant. What matters is the real nature of your relationship with the people who work for you and the nature and degree of control that you have over the work they do. Basically if there is a Master and Servant relationship and you instruct that person what you require him or her to do then you must have Employers Liability.

The following paragraphs may help give you some indication of whether or not a person is an employee under the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act. However, it is for you to satisfy yourself of the status of the persons working for you and if you have any doubts, you should seek legal advice.

You may need employers’ liability insurance for someone who works for you where:

  • you deduct national insurance and income tax from the money you pay them;
  • you have the right to control where and when they work and how they do it;
  • you supply their work materials and equipment;
  • you have a right to any profit your workers make although you may choose to share this with them through commission, performance pay or shares in the company;
  • you require that person only to deliver the service and they cannot employ a substitute if they are unable to do the work; or
  • they are treated in the same way as other employees, for example, they do the same work under the same conditions as someone else you employ.

You may not need employers’ liability insurance for people who work for you where:

  • they do not work exclusively for you (for example, if they operate as an independent contractor);
  • they supply most of the equipment and materials they need to do the job;
  • they are clearly in business for their own personal benefit;
  • they can employ a substitute when they are unable to do the work themselves;
  • you do not deduct income tax or national insurance. However, even if someone is self-employed for tax purposes they may be classed as an employee for other reasons and you may still need employers’ liability insurance to cover them.

In some cases you will not need additional employers’ liability insurance for volunteers or for:

  • students who work for you unpaid;
  • people who are not employed, but taking part in a youth or adult training programme; or
  • a school student on a work experience programme.

Insurers will usually cover the above under an existing employers’ liability policy, and there is generally no need to inform your insurer if you take on any of the above. However, you should talk to your insurer if you take on the above either for long periods, or if they are doing work that is not your company’s usual business, and you should bear in mind the level of risk they may be exposed to during the time they are working for you. If you do not currently have any employers’ liability cover you should talk to your insurer before taking on any of the above.