The Law on Employers Insurance
The law on ensuring insuring
As it is compulsory for the majority of businesses to have Employers Insurance, there are certain regulations that must be met to ensure that employees are adequately protected should they suffer illness or injury at the hands of an employer. All Employers Insurance regulations are governed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
The legislation is contained within the Employers Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969. One of the most important regulations detailed in this legislation is that employers must have a minimum level of insurance to cover themselves against any claims.
The law states that an employer must have Employers Insurance that covers for at least £5m in costs. However, this amount may not be sufficient for all businesses and most insurers will automatically provide cover for at least £10m in costs. Employers should always assess the risks they face and ensure that they have adequate cover.
Authorised Employers Insurance providers
There are some Employers Insurance providers out there who are not authorised to supply such insurance. If a business has Employers Insurance that is not from an authorised provider then they may be breaking the law and action can be brought against them.
To clarify whether an Employers Insurance provider is authorised, all authorised Employers Insurance providers are kept on register. Businesses can check whether an Employers Insurance provider is authorised by checking the register on the Financial Services Authority website.
Displaying Employers Insurance policy certificates
It is a legal requirement for businesses to display an Employers Insurance certificate to demonstrate that they have the relevant cover. For most businesses, it is necessary to have a paper copy of the insurance displayed somewhere that employees can easily access it. In some instances, it is acceptable to have only a digital copy of an Employers Insurance certificate as long as employees have access to the digital copy.
Any failure to display an Employers Insurance certificate or failure to produce the certificate when HSE inspectors request to see it can result in the business being subjected to a fine of up to £1000.
Keeping out of date Employers Insurance certificates
New legislation enforced on the 1st October 2008 states that it is no longer a legal requirement for businesses to keep copies of expired Employers Insurance certificates. However, even though it is not a legal requirement to keep Employers Insurance certificates, it is highly recommended that employers do keep copies of all of their Employers Insurance policies.
The reason for keeping hold of old Employers Insurance policies is because employees may not be diagnosed with an illness suffered as a result of work until many years after working for a company. Employees in this position are still entitled to claim compensation from the employer who caused the illness.
If the employer does not have a copy of the relevant Employers Insurance for when the employee was working for them then they could face having to meet the costs of a claim themselves. This can be financially devastating for a business.
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