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Q: I am about to start work at a small event yard — should my new employer provide staff with personal accident insurance as part of an employment package, or is it better to take out a policy?
It is recommended that an employer takes out personal accident insurance for their staff — although many individual employees end up taking out their own, private policies.
This is because if you are working for an employer under a contract of service, you are entitled to £79.15 statutory sick pay (SSP) a week, if the following apply:
• You are sick for at least four days in a row
• You are earning at least £97 a week
The employer will work out a daily rate of SSP by dividing the weekly rate by the number of days normally worked in that week. SSP is subject to tax and National Insurance contributions.
However, while SSP may contribute towards the cost of living, in most cases it does not cover the total monthly outgoings, according to Lucy Katan of the British Grooms Association (BGA).
“By providing appropriate personal accident insurance as part of an employment package — always read the small print — both employer and employee can be assured that the injured or sick employee will be financially secure during their absence from work,” said Lucy.
“Employers should look at ways that they can improve their employment package to make the job more attractive.
“South Essex Insurance Brokers’ (SEIB) personal accident insurance through the BGA is an affordable, practical solution.
“Employers must also be aware that any freelance groom that works for them will not receive SSP if they are injured; it is for this reason the BGA thoroughly recommends freelancers never work without their own personal accident insurance policy.”
British Grooms Association www.britishgrooms.org.uk
Government online advice hub www.direct.gov.uk
This article was first published in Horse & Hound (29 April, ’10)
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