If your business is running a café, you might well need to employ staff – on a temporary or permanent basis. But if you do run a café, it is unlikely that you will consider yourself a natural expert on the question of café employers’ liability insurance or even find the subject your particular cup of tea. Probably the most critical question, however, is likely to be whether or not you need it.
In many cases, the answer is that in all likelihood, this is something that you will indeed require. The exception, of course, is if you do not actually employ any staff. But also, businesses that are family-run enterprises, where employees are all closely related to each other, are usually exempt from the requirement, unless the company is a registered Limited Company.
In other cases, however, the determining factor is whether or not you are employing staff under a contract of employment or formal apprenticeship. If this seems a little complicated to determine, then it might be helpful to discuss your exact relationship as an employer with an experienced insurance intermediary.
The reason for such a legal requirement is fairly straightforward. Even the simplest and most basic of cafés can be surprisingly dangerous places to work in terms of accidents and mishaps – staff can be injured. They can also contract illnesses as a result of their working for you.
If that is the case, the employees concerned can claim compensation from you as a result of their injury or illness. Café employers’ liability insurance is designed to ensure that, in the event of such claims, you and they can be insured that there is sufficient cover to provide adequate compensation.
Because of the potentially very large sums involved in compensating anyone for injuries (or even death) and the long-term nature of some illnesses, the adequacy of café employers’ liability insurance can appear to be very high indeed.
In those cases where the insurance is required by law, for example, the minimum requirement is for cover of at least £5 million. Even such a large sum, however, could prove inadequate in the case of certain claims, and so most insurance packages may offer cover for up to a typical £10 million.
By James Clapton