The Employment Relationship: Health & Safety, Insurance

As an employer, you will have various duties to ensure the health and safety of your employees. These duties have been interpreted broadly, and can extend to protecting staff from bullying and even preventing them from stress caused by over-work. Shift workers, night workers and pregnant employees are afforded particular protection under health & safety law.

Employers are required to carry out a risk assessment of the workplace and to take measures to minimise any risks exposed by such an assessment. There is an also an obligation on employers to prepare a written health and safety policy if they have 5 or more employees.

Employers’ liability insurance enables businesses to meet the costs of damages and legal fees for employees who are injured or made ill at work through the fault of the employer. By law, all companies with employees in the UK must have employers’ liability insurance with cover for at least £5 million. Failure to obtain such insurance may attract a fine of up to £2,500 for each day that the company does not have appropriate insurance.

Where an employee is injured as a result of employer failure, they generally have up to three years from the date the injury occurred, or three years from the date on which they were first aware of the injury, in which to submit a personal injury claim to the court.