Employers’ liability proposals not to cover ‘one man bands’

The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) was calling on the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to rethink plans to scrap the requirement for sole traders to obtain EL cover.

David Marshall, APIL president, warned that it was “imperative” that such companies were not allowed to “slip through the net”. “Our worry is that although the owner may be the sole employee, many of these companies – in particular the construction industry – go on to employ casual workers,” he said. “If the employer is exempt from obtaining EL cover, then any casual worker will be left high and dry in the event of an accident – unable to claim and with no means of compensation.”

The group was responding to the DWP second stage and final report on the Review of Employers’ Liability Compulsory Insurance. Earlier this month a Government source told the press that there was universal support for their initiative to exclude over 300,000 sole trading companies from having to pay for employer’s liability insurance. The DWP is expected to publish a consultation on the idea later this month but, according to the source, barring any “unforeseen consequences”, it will be adopted.

APIL has been campaigning for a centralised Employers’ Insurance Bureau to monitor employers’ compulsory insurers, and act as “an insurer of last resort”. “This would enable employees injured by an uninsured company to seek redress,” Marshall explained.