Do I need Employers Liability Insurance?
It’s not just about PAYE employees
If you have PAYE employees then it is highly likely that you will need Employers Liability cover. However, that is not the end of the story and there are other instances when you will need it – even for volunteers! Read on.
If you employ subcontractors, or workers on a casual basis you could need Employers Liability cover. The main exception is if you engage Bona Fide Subcontractors (BFSC). It is important for our clients to be able to distinguish for insurance purposes, between a labour only sub-contractor and a bona fide sub-contractor. Understanding the fundamental differences is important to ensure that correct cover and pricing is applied to your insurance policy.
Labour only Subcontractors.
A contractor employs a sub-contractor for their labour only. The labour only sub-contractor (LOSC) does not supply any materials, the LOSC is being supervised by the Contractor.
In this context there is a master and servant relationship. The contractor’s liability towards the LOSC, and arising out of the LOSC’s activity when working for them, is considered the same as if the LOSC was a direct employee.
Since this is regarded as a master and servant relationship an Employers Liability and Public Liability exposure exists. Even if the LOSC has their own insurance i.e. Public Liability. The contractor would not be able to subrogate against it. There is case law setting precedents to support this.
Bona Fide Subcontractor (BFSC).
A master and servant relationship would not be considered to be in existence.
The BFSC would be providing materials, labour and supervising their own work and invoicing accordingly. There is no Employers Liability risk but contingent Public Liability cover is required. It is likely that it will be warranted under your own insurance that you check that each BFSC holds adequate Public Liability insurance.