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Under the Employers’ Liability Compulsory Insurance Act 1969, also referred to as ELCI, most employers are required by law to insure their employees against workplace injury or disease. Lone workers must be included in their employer’s ELCI cover.

Just because an employee is working from home or at a site on their own it doesn't mean they should be less protected than other staff. In fact, the lone worker probably needs even more protection than other staff because of the unique health and safety problems posed by the isolated individual.

If employees are injured at work or they, or former employees, become ill as a result of their work while in employment.
The Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 ensures that there is at least a minimum level of insurance cover against any such claims.

Employers’ liability insurance will enable employers to meet the cost of compensation for employees’ injuries or illness whether they are caused on or off-site.

However, any injuries and illness relating to motor accidents that occur while employees are working for you may be covered separately by your motor insurance.

Public liability insurance is different. It covers for claims made against by members of the public or other businesses, but not for claims by employees. While public liability insurance is generally voluntary, employers’ liability insurance is
compulsory.

You can be fined if you do not hold a current employers’ liability insurance policy which complies with the law.

You need employers’ liability insurance unless you are exempt from the Act.

The following employers are exempt:

  • Most public organisations including government departments and agencies
  • Local authorities, police authorities and nationalised industries
  • Health service bodies, including National Health Service trusts, health authorities, primary care trusts and Scottish health boards; and some other organisations which are financed through public funds, such as passenger transport executives and magistrates’ courts committees
  • There are some other exemptions with other business groups.