Employers Liability Insurance and Village Halls

When discussing insurance for village halls, one thing that comes up regularly is whether Employers’ Liability insurance is required.

To give an answer, I suppose the easiest place to start is with what Employers liability is.

Employers’ liability cover is designed to protect against the financial consequence of causing injury, disease or even death to those they employ. The Employers Liability (compulsory insurance) Act 1969 was introduced with effect from 1st January 1972 as a response to a large number of cases of accidents in the work place. This statute and revisions that have since come into force state that an employer must have cover of at least £5 million.

Obviously, the financial implications of not having cover can be huge but fines enforced by the HSE (£2,500 per day for not having cover and £1,000 for not clearly displaying evidence of cover) can be damaging for many smaller not for profit organisations. I guess this brings us back to who needs Employers Liability? The short answer is that any organisation employing staff and deducting tax and national insurance is legally required to take out cover. There are some exceptions to this and it may be useful to look at the regulations here www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/hse40.pdf

It is generally accepted that if your organisation is totally run by volunteers then Employers Liability cover is not required. However, it would always be our advice to strongly consider taking the cover out. As the majority of insurers will view a volunteer in the same way as a paid member of staff i.e. they are performing duties on behalf of the organisation, then they will be subject to the same risks and the policy would respond in the same way.

As many volunteers use their spare time to offer their help, should they suffer an incapacitating injury, not only will it leave you short-handed but it could have serious financial consequences for the volunteer if they are unable to perform their usual work duties. Therefore, it could be viewed, that by taking out Employers’ Liability, you are demonstrating that you put a value on the volunteer’s time and effort by putting adequate protections in place.

Further posts in this series will look at hirers liability and trustee indemnity insurance but for now, if you need any help with your village hall insurance simply call us during office hours on 0800 046 1446.