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What is Employers Liability Insurance?

Employers Liability Insurance, known as EL, is one of the few insurances a business is required to hold by law – when you have employees. The policy provides cover for legal representation and compensation arising from claims made against your company in respect of bodily injury or damage to property suffered by employees.

Clients will usually specify that the business holds Employers Liability insurance before letting you commence working for them. As a business you have a duty to look after the health and safety of your employees, and if they fall ill or get injured as a result of the work they do for you then you could be held liable.

EL can only be bought as an extension to a Public Liability Insurance policy, and with a minimum level of cover of £10m. There are also a few exceptions to having to legally hold EL insurance i.e. you’re a sole trader, a limited company with one employee who also owns more than 50% of the shares, and companies where all employees are direct family members.


Defence costs

Cover for the legal costs and expenses incurred in relation to the investigation and defence of a claim, including any appeal issued in connection with it. Compensation is covered separately, giving you double the coverage.


Cover for damages and awards which your business is legally liable to pay as compensation arising from any accidental bodily injury, including death, and/or property damage if they get injured or fall ill as a result of working for your business.

Meets legal requirements

If you are an employer you have a legal responsibility to look after the wellbeing and health of your workforce, and if you employ one or more people, Employers Liability insurance (EL) is a legal requirement for UK companies.

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Common EL Questions

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Meet your legal requirements

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) can fine you £2,500 for each day you don’t hold EL but are legally required to. It’s also your duty to display/let your employees have access to your EL certificate, with a £1,000 fine for not doing so.

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Give me examples of claims

– Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) claims from an employee
– Equipment topples over and hurts an employee
– An ex-employee making a claim after leaving the business
– A worker gets injured leaving the premises

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Is EL the same as PL?

No, they are different. Whilst they both cover the same types of risks i.e. bodily injury and property damage, PL protects you against claims from third parties, whilst EL protects you from claims from employees.