Do you employ staff in your restaurant?  If you do, the law makes you esponsible for the safety of your employees while they are at work.  So, whether you have one or a hundred employees, it is important that you take these responsibilities seriously.

Employers liability insurance provides cover against claims by your staff who may have suffered illness or injury whilst at work.  It’s a must for any restaurant owner, as we explain here.

Employers liability insurance

You have many responsibilities as an employer.  These include ensuring that you provide a safe working environment for your staff.  However, in the event your employees are injured or become ill at work, they may try to claim compensation from you if they believe you are responsible.

You can protect yourself against claims by taking out employers’ liability insurance.  This provides cover against claims by employees who have suffered an injury or illness in the course of their employment. For example, an accident may occur in your restaurant because health and safety rules have not been implemented.

You are obliged to take out employers liability insurance by the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 (ELCA) – with one or two exceptions (some health service bodies and some family businesses).

When you are shopping around for restaurant insurance, you should look for a policy that provides at least £5 million of employers liability insurance.  It is compulsory to have at least this amount.  Many insurers offer higher levels of cover and you may need more protection, especially if you run a large restaurant operation.

Do I need to tell employees about this insurance?

When you take out or renew your restaurant insurance policy and include this cover, you will be issued with a certificate of Employers’ Liability insurance. This will state the minimum level of cover provided and the companies covered by the policy.

By law, you are obliged to display a copy of this certificate in a place where all your employees can read it.  This certificate should also be made available to be checked by Health and Safety Executive Inspectors.  If you don’t, you could face a fine of up to £1,000.

You are also obliged to retain copies of certificates of insurance for at least 40 years (for policies in force since 1998 or later). This is for your own protection as some diseases can occur many years after the illness is caused.

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