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Salon owner in court for insurance failure

26 March 2013

The owner of a Herne Bay hair salon has been fined for failing to provide legally required insurance cover that enables employees to claim damages should they be injured at work.

Rajan Patel, 56, neglected to arrange Employers’ Liability Compulsory Insurance (ELCI) for ‘Inspirations’, on Howe Farm Road, when he took over the business last year.

Canterbury Magistrates’ Court heard today (26 March) that an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in August 2012 into a complaint from a concerned employee established there was no cover in place for at least three months.

Mr Patel was unable to produce a valid ELCI certificate, meaning his staff had no means of pursuing a civil claim against the business had they been injured at work, or contracted a work-related illness or disease, in the interim period.

Most employers are required by law to provide ELCI cover to ensure successful civil claims can be met.

Rajan Patel, of Hodgson Road, Seasalter, Whitstable, was fined £3,900 and ordered to pay £3,000 towards costs after pleading guilty to breaching the Employers’ Liability Compulsory Insurance Act 1969.

After the hearing HSE Inspector Caroline Fullman said:

"Thankfully none of Mr Patel’s employees suffered a work-related injury or illness that warranted a claim for damages, but had they done so they would have been denied a chance to claim the compensation as recompense for whatever pain and suffering they had endured.

"That is the purpose of ELCI. It is not a trivial optional extra, it is a compulsory requirement that is designed solely to protect employees.

"The law expects employers to take all reasonably practicable steps to prevent their workforce from being injured or becoming ill, but if incidents do occur then Employers’ Liability Compulsory Insurance cover is vital."

Further information on why ELCI is necessary can be found on the HSE website at using the search function.

Notes to editors

  1. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice; promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice; and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.
  2. Section 1(1) of the Employers’ Liability Compulsory Insurance Act 1969 states: "Every employer carrying on any business in Great Britain shall insure, and maintain insurance, under one or more approved policies with an authorised insurer or insurers against liability for bodily injury or disease sustained by his employees, and arising out of and in the course of their employment in Great Britain in that business, but except in so far as regulations otherwise provide not including injury or disease suffered or contracted outside Great Britain."

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