Employers’ liability insurance certificate: what it is and when you should display it

Our quick guide to employers’ liability insurance certificates will help you understand your obligations under health and safety legislation.

What is an employers’ liability insurance certificate?

An employers’ liability insurance certificate is a document from your insurer that shows your company has employers’ liability insurance. It shows the level of cover and the details of the insurer. Employers are legally obliged to display this certificate so that all employees can see it.

An overview of employers’ liability insurance

Employers’ liability insurance covers compensation claims made by employees for injury or illness caused by their work. For example if an office worker tripped over a trailing cable and hurt their back, or if a tradesman fell ill due to long-term exposure to construction dust, they could claim compensation from their employer. The employers’ liability insurance could cover the legal fees and compensation costs.

Under the 1969 Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act, most employers are obliged to have at least £5 million of employers’ liability insurance. Your business can be fined up to £2,500 each day you don’t have insurance. Some businesses are exempt, including public organisations, some family businesses, and some companies with all workers based abroad. Check the legislation or seek advice if you think you may be exempt.

Displaying your employers’ liability insurance certificate

The law requires you to display your employers’ liability insurance certificate so that all of your employees can access it. In the past you had to provide a hard copy, but in 2008 the legislation was amended to allow businesses to display their certificate electronically.

Whether you decide to display a hard copy of the certificate or you decide to save it electronically, you must make sure all of your employees know where the certificate is and can access it. For example, you could display the certificate in the staff room or the kitchen, or you could save it to your company’s intranet if it’s accessible to all employees.

If your policy is altered or renewed, remember to replace the previous employers’ liability certificate with the new version.

Receiving your employers’ liability insurance certificate

When you buy your employers’ liability insurance, your insurer will send over your policy documents, which should include your employers’ liability insurance certificate.

If you buy your employers’ liability insurance from Simply Business, we’ll send you an email with a secure link to your policy documents, including your employers’ liability certificate. You can print it off to display it in hard copy, or save a digital copy somewhere your employees can see it. Remember to communicate its whereabouts to all your staff, and to tell new employees where they can find it when they join.

What the employers’ liability certificate should include

When you receive your certificate from your insurer, make sure that it shows the following information:

  • The level of cover: This is the maximum amount that the insurer will pay out for a claim. The law requires you to have at least £5 million of cover, but most providers (including Simply Business) offer £10 million as standard.

  • Company covered: The insurance certificate should clearly show which company (or companies) are covered by the insurance policy.

  • Name of insurer: The certificate also needs to show the name of the insurer providing the policy, and should be signed by a representative of the insurer. The company providing your insurance should be authorised and regulated by the FCA.

If you have any questions about employers’ liability certificates, ask us in the comment section.

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