Login | Register
SearchMy Stuff
My ProfileMy PreferencesMy Mates RSS Feed
Reply to Topic
Author Discussion

pompey boy

Original Poster:

8 posts

54 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
I work for the UK office of a Canadian IT company. We periodically go to customer sites in the UK and abroad to install IT equipment. Such an install can include placing equipment in racks, installing cabling and perhaps the occasional trip up a ladder. No mains electrical work - we just plug the kit into customer installed outlets. A recent conversation with my colleagues revealed that we appear to have a gap in our insurance cover. The gap manifests itself in a couple of ways:

The company has asked us to provide our own travel insurance and to claim the cost back through the expense claim process. That said many travel insurance insurance policies only cover a limited number of business trips abroad and their coverage for something like installing kit is questionable.

we seem to have no cover in the UK

We only have 8 paid sick days per year - so if someone breaks his leg in 3 places because he falls off a ladder and is laid up in hospital for 6 weeks salary stops after 8 days and the remaining 4+ weeks we're on our own.

I have raised this with our HR department and they have basically said that's the way it is and that we have to assess the risk ourselves and buy (at our own expense) any cover that we feel is necessary. There is no pressure to follow unsafe practices or do anything daft so we're not specifically concerned about something but just have an uneasy feeling.

So my questions are:

does my employer have a legal obligation to provide appropriate insurance cover?
Any idea how other companies deal with this?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Edited by pompey boy on Wednesday 10th October 20:43

rog007

3,449 posts

109 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
Insurance is a means to protect staff, ones business interests and, many forget, an organisations reputation. In some areas of work, insurance is a legal obligation, such as vehicular insurance; in others, it's discretionary. This can also vary depending upon which country one is operating in and whether there is any contractual obligation where that is relevant. In some large organisations, 'insurance' is provided from within the resources of that organisation, whereas more normal sized organisations, insurance premiums are paid to a third party to underwrite a level of affordable cover. A full review of activities, local legislation, contractual liabilities and risk should be carried out to determine where an organisation would wish to protect itself from monetary claim that it would otherwise not be able to afford if found wanting.

So no black and white answer, but the scenario you have described is not one I would recognise as good practice without further information. Good luck!

Inkyfingers

1,323 posts

114 months

[news] 
Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
Are you actually an employee? If you are then your company should be covering you for business travel, if they are not then frankly they must be cowboys.

If you are a actually a sub-contractor, i.e. you invoice your company, rather than getting paid through PAYE then the situation is a bit different and they may be more fair to expect you to arrange your own insurance, though in this case you'd hope that your hourly rate is high enough to cover this.

pompey boy

Original Poster:

8 posts

54 months

[news] 
Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
I am an employee; all of us in the UK office are.

It's hard to be sure but I think I stumbled across scenarios they hadn't considered. The UK office has only been open for a year. That said I'm not sure my Canadian colleagues are any better off.

Inkyfingers

1,323 posts

114 months

[news] 
Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
Then I would ask the company to clarify the situation, it may be that this is covered in some form of combined corporate policy rather than as a specific policy.

If you are indeed not covered then I would suggest you polite tell your company to sort it out. Expecting employees to arrange their own insurance is ridiculous.
Advertisement
Reply to Topic