As an employer, you will already have in place Employers Liability insurance, which is a legal obligation. It covers the cost of any compensation due to an employee as a result of an accident or injury at work, or if they contract an industrial disease. But what this insurance does not do is to cover the cost of any compensation or legal costs if an employee or worker takes you to an Employment Tribunal.
If faced with an Employment Tribunal, the biggest fear for many businesses is the cost involved. Our Employment Practices Liability insurance – Employer Guard – can help. It gives you and your business peace of mind that if you are taken to an Employment Tribunal your legal costs, together with most types of tribunal awards, are covered, subject to the limit of indemnity you choose.
A precondition of Employer Guard cover is that you also subscribe to our legal advice helpline, giving you quick and easy access to legal guidance. In particular, under the cover you must take legal advice:
- Before carrying out any disciplinary procedure or action or suspending an employee
- Before dismissing an employee
- Before notifying an employee of their intended retirement date
- Before starting any redundancy programme or making an employee redundant
- On receipt of a formal or informal grievance (including from ex-employees)
- On notification formally or informally of a complaint relating to discrimination victimisation or harassment because of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage/civil partnership, pregnancy/maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation
- Before any adverse variation or proposed adverse variation of the terms and conditions of employment
- If an employee walks out with or without written notice
- On receipt of an appeal against a decision taken as a result of a disciplinary or grievance procedure or retirement procedure or a decision to dismiss
- Arising out of or in connection with any business transfer or purported business transfer falling within the scope of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 or the Acquired Rights Directive
As part of our Employer Guard service, our Employment Law Solicitors will also carry out an audit of your employment practices and procedures at no cost.
Claims by employees, workers or ex-employees
Employer Guard covers your legal expenses and any awards of compensation (subject to your chosen limit of indemnity) from claims by employees or ex-employees that arise out of the employment contract or breach of employment-related legislation. This includes claims for:
- Unfair, wrongful and constructive dismissal
- Working time claims
- Maternity, pregnancy, flexible working and other related rights
- All areas of discrimination and victimisation, bullying and harassment, disciplinary and grievance matters, and whistleblowing
Certain types of tribunal awards are not covered:
- Additional awards, protective awards, interim relief, arrears of pay or awards of damages under the equal pay provisions of the Equality Act 2010, or arising out of failure to comply with awards in respect of reinstatement or re-engagement
- Any fine, award or damages incurred by deliberately avoiding a payment or liability under statutory requirements
- Any redundancy payment or any monies due or properly payable arising under or from a contract of employment, service agreement or related document or from any related implied or incorporated term of a contract of employment
Enforcement of employee covenants
Employer Guard also covers the legal costs incurred as a result of any legal proceedings you raise to enforce restrictive covenants in the employment contract, such as seeking interdict, injunction or damages against an employee or ex-employee who has breached a written restrictive covenant by soliciting either your customers or employees.
Health and safety cover/Directors Liability
Optional health and safety cover and Directors Liability cover are also available.
We understand the concerns many employers face when dealing with a tribunal claim. Employer Guard gives you, as an employer, security that not only are your costs covered in an event of a tribunal claim but also that you have instant access to our team of highly qualified employment lawyers, assisting and supporting you through the process and advising you on any related employment legislation issues.
In most employment situations taking legal advice early on can often stop the situation from escalating and will save you time and money later. With our proactive and commercial advice, Thorntons Employment Law team can help. Give one of our Employment Law Solicitors a call on 03330 430 350, or complete our online enquiry form and we will contact you.