The Public Liability Insurance Blog

Nearly half of UK’s small businesses unwittingly breaking law warns YOUR Insurance

who and whatNearly half of the UK’s small businesses could be employing staff without having the mandatory Employers Liability insurance warns specialist online provider

Firms employing one or more people are required by law to have Employers Liability insurance, however in a recent survey, YOUR Insurance found 47% of respondents were unaware it’s illegal to employ staff (unless family) without this cover.

The minimum level of EL cover required for a business is £5m. It protects businesses and trades people against claims for compensation from existing and former employees who are injured or become ill as a result of their work activities.

Firms employing close relatives and not a Limited Company or those where the owner is the sole employee and owns at least 50% of the company’s issued share capital are exempt.

In 2011, insurers** paid out £1bn in Employers Liability claims and other expenses.

YOUR Insurance Marketing Manager, Annie Plaskett, comments: “It’s concerning to see how many people appear unaware of their legal obligations. Anyone employing full or part-time staff, sub-contractors, work experience students or volunteers should have this compulsory cover in place. Without it, the financial consequences could be severe.”

The Health & Safety Executive in March reported it fined a self-employed maintenance worker £1,250 and ordered him to pay £1,000 in costs after he breached the Working at Height Regulations. A friend helping him broke his elbow after falling three metres through a roof in a disused factory in the Forest of Dean.

In October last year, the HSE introduced a Fee For Intervention scheme whereby it charges per hour for investigative work. The rate for 2012/13 is £124 per hour.

To find out more visit or phone 0800 107 8949.


Notes to Editors

* Online survey to 2000 businesses via Survey Monkey, responses collated over a week during Feb 13.

** Association of British Insurers – Key Facts 2012.

The Federation of Small Business estimates there are 4.8 million UK firms employing 23.9m people - SMEs employ around 14.1m staff.

YOUR Insurance was set up in 1997 as a specialist online business insurance provider, sourcing cover via a panel of market-leading insurers.

YOUR Insurance is part of Towergate Underwriting Group Ltd - Europe's largest independently-owned insurance intermediary offering over 200 specialist insurance products. It’s authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

Media Enquiries

Annie Plaskett, Marketing Manager, YOUR Insurance, T: 01483 448741 or E: