Do you need Employers’ Liability insurance for your volunteers?

by Aviva Community Fund | Sep 22, 2020 | Risk protection for community causes

Do you need Employers’ Liability insurance for your volunteers?

What is Employers’ Liability insurance?

Employers’ Liability insurance protects your charity or voluntary organisation arising from employees alleging that your negligence caused them to suffer an illness or injury whilst they were carrying out their work duties. All employers in the United Kingdom are required by law to hold Employers’ Liability insurance, including charities. The law requires that you have a minimum level of cover of £5 million.

Do charities need Employers’ Liability insurance for volunteers?

Charities have a duty of care for volunteers, just as they do for their paid staff members. Having the right insurance in place for volunteers is vital and the Charity Commission strongly advises charities to insure their volunteers as well as their staff.

Insuring your volunteers against injury and illness usually falls into one of two covers – either Employers’ Liability insurance or Public Liability insurance. Whether or not volunteers are covered under Employers’ Liability insurance can vary depending on the type of policy from your insurer/insurance broker, although it is more common than not that on policies designed for the voluntary sector that volunteers will be treated as employees.  Whilst Employers’ Liability is only legally required where you have paid employees, the cover provided is usually broader than Public Liability and will provide greater protection to you and your volunteers.

Top Tips to manage the safety of employees and volunteers:

  • ensure the requirements of each role is clearly documented and agreed
  • develop written risk assessments and regularly monitor working environments to ensure safe working conditions
  • keep adequate training records

Where can I go for more information?

This article has been kindly contributed by Aviva’s charity insurance brokers BHIB Insurance, Allied Westminster, and charity specialist MGA, aQmen Underwriting

Are you looking for specialist insurance or need advice on your charity’s requirements? Our Aviva products are available via insurance brokers across the UK. If you already have an insurance broker, please contact them for guidance and to get a quote.

If you need to find a broker, this look up tool from the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) will help you locate one local to you.

Alternatively, we work with three brokers who specialise in charity insurance products. Please feel free to contact them directly to receive their expert advice.