The Perils of Admitting Liability;

EMPLOYERS LIABILITY FOR THE SOCIAL CARE SECTOR

Employers Liability is one of the few classes of insurance required by law in the UK. It protects employees should they ever be injured at work. Richard Barnes, Business Development Executive for the Care Sector at Towergate Insurance Brokers explains what employers should be doing in the event of one of their employees being injured by a service user whilst at work.

 As a specialist provider of Care Home insurance, Towergate has seen first-hand the rising costs across the UK social care sector and unfortunately, insurance is no different. This is partly due to the unique nature of the industry which requires specialist knowledge and expertise, as well as the increasing media coverage of the social care sector, however the most significant reason for these premium increases is the volume of Employers Liability claims being reported.

 Saying Sorry

It’s natural to want to apologise after something that shouldn’t happen occurs and in the unfortunate case of a service user assaulting, attacking or injuring a member of your staff, apologising to your employee is not you admitting fault. However, you should be prepared for any possible claim by recording evidence; just because an accident has happened, it does not mean that you are legally liable or that compensation should be paid.

 Future-proof your foundations
An employee has up to three years in which to make a personal injury claim and we have often found that sometime after an incident has occurred, employees can suddenly decide to pursue a claim for previous injury, which at the time of it happening, they did not wish to take any further. These claims can be made by existing or previous employees, so at Towergate we advise that you keep your employee records up to date.

 It is essential that you contact the insurance provider you had cover with during the time of the alleged incident, as they will be able to give you relevant advice and inform you of steps that will need to be taken. If you have switched insurers since the occurrence, you will still have to inform the insurance provider you were with at the time of the incident as they will be the ones who may have to pay out if the claim is successful.

Accurate Record Keeping

If a claim is going to be successfully defended, then significant records will need to be submitted to provide evidence that the relevant procedures were in place at the time of the incident.
Evidence can include the following, but there are also other examples that your insurer can inform you of depending on the incident.

 ·         Accident book entry, including photos of the scene and/or injury

·         RIDDOR report

·         Copies of any correspondence exchanged with the HSE regarding the incident

·         Copies of the involved resident’s care plans

·         Details of any similar incidents or complaints made by staff regarding the resident involved

·         Confirmation of any dates of absence which the claimant incurred because of the incident

·         First aid reports

·         Accident investigation reports

·         Minutes from any health and safety meetings at which the incident was discussed

·         Claimant training records

·         Statements from any witnesses to the incident

·         Details of any remedial action that may have been taken because of the incident

·         Earnings details for the 3 months prior to the incident and the month after returning to work

 It is therefore not only important, but an insurer requirement, to report any incident which you think may give rise to a claim. By reporting an incident, it is important to understand that this is not the same as making a claim. Instead you are making your insurer aware of an accident that has occurred, which provides them with the opportunity to consider the circumstances and decide if they want to gather a suite of evidence to ensure that they are prepared should a claim be reported in the future.

 At Towergate, we recommend that you build a close relationship with your insurer or insurance broker, as they will be able to provide bespoke advice and support depending on your needs.

 

If you would like to find out more about Towergate Insurance or you require more information on Employer’s Liability, you can call us on 01438 739280 or email us: caredivision@towergate.co.uk

 Towergate Insurance Brokers is a trading name of Towergate Underwriting Group Limited. Registered in England No.4043759. Registered Address: Towergate House, Eclipse Park, Sittingbourne Road, Maidstone, Kent ME14 3EN.
Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority