My now many regular readers will know I have employed personal assistants halve my life, as well as supporting others to employ their own staff. And insurance has always been a fundamental part of this.
Personal assistant Insurance is basically employer liability insurance with a few extra features, which is a legal requirement for all employers to have, exactly like drivers needing car insurance. This is why social care funders will include the cost of insurance in packages of those employing their own staff.
Personal assistant insurance is generally provided in two levels, the standard level and the enhanced level, which is provided by a number of providers including Mark Bates Limited.
The standard level of insurance basically protects you from having costly settlement bills if your personal assistant is harmed, injured, or has a range of other problems while they are working for you which you could be held responsible for. This level of insurance also covers you if the actions of your personal assistant while they are working for you harms a member of the general public.
My understanding is that interestingly, standard insurance does not protect you from harm from your personal assistant. So you may have to pay out if your personal assistant harms their back, it does not work the other way around.
During the last decade, there has been a demand for ‘enhanced’ personal assistant insurance. As the ‘sue culture’ has risen, personal assistant employers have found themselves rightly or wrongly taken to employment tribunals when their now former staff has felt they were unfairly treated. In such an intense relationship between personal assistant and employer, things will sometimes get difficult.
The main aim of enhanced personal assistant insurance is to cover personal assistant employers if their former personal assistants take them to an employment tribunal. The catch to this great offer is that the employer must consult with the insurance’s legal helpline before making a move. The helpline can indeed be helpful, but it will be interested in the facts in terms of employment law. Without an understanding of lived experiences, they may not understand the full situation and so ignore the emotional and safeguarding issues involved, which employment law has no interest in.
While the enhance insurance may not be perfect, it is certainly worth considering, especially if it has be costed into your funded support package. I had never in 23 years needed to make a claim on personal assistance, so I don’t personally know how good the claim process it is, and I hope I never actually need to know that.
Personal assistant insurance may be something you need to have if you employ personal assistants, but it is also something you should want to have to protect from yourself potentially costly legal and other costs.