Is Employer’s Liability Insurance compulsory for Salons?

By Darragh Timlin on July 23rd, 2018

If you work in a hair salon or beauty salon, or if you own a salon that employs specialised beauty technicians, you’ll be aware of how many things there are that can go wrong, and of how important health and safety is when carrying out your daily work.

In the average beauty salon, there are any number of potentially hazardous substances and items of equipment that could cause serious harm or injury to a member of the public if care is not taken when handling them. These items include sharp objects, such as scissors and razor blades (in razor combs), as well as machines that produce extreme heat, such as hairdryers, or hair-straighteners.

There is also a large variety of chemical products which, while essential in terms of the day-to-day service provided to your customers, could also be extremely hazardous if misused, or if they are inadequately stored or transported. These chemicals include toluene and formaldehyde (found in nail polish and nail polish removers), as well as acetone, bleaches and strong dyes.

Why is employer’s liability insurance important?

With this in mind, it’s important to know that an employer’s liability insurance policy is required by law if you employ more than one person in this kind of environment. Employer’s liability insurance is there to protect you, as an employer, against the potential legal consequences of injury or illness suffered by a member of your staff in their working environment. There are some harsh penalties currently imposed on employers by the government for failure to comply – a maximum daily £2,500 fine, and a £1,000 fine for anyone who fails to display their employer’s liability insurance ticket, or to show it to a licensed government inspector upon request.

What other types of insurance are necessary for salons?

It’s also important to consider other aspects of workers’ indemnity, such as public liability insurance and treatment risk insurance. Public liability insurance, while not strictly required by law in the UK, is a very good idea for those who work in close contact with the public on a regular basis – for protection against, for example, compensation claims made by the public, or legal costs.

Another very similar kind of insurance is treatment risk insurance. This is a specialised insurance protects you against claims caused by accidents in the salon environment which harm a customer (these accidents can include treatments that go wrong, allergic reactions, and so on). Because standard public liability insurance very often does not cover claims which arise from professional services, treatment risk insurance is absolutely essential for beauty salon workers – so taking out a personalised treatment risk insurance policy should be the first thing you do as a new salon owner.

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