When does a ‘helping out’ resident become an employee?

It­seems an easy solution. Rather than paying the cost of professional contractors or gardeners, a resident may offer to help around the property (in return for a little cash in hand). ‘Perfect!’ agrees the Residents’ Management Company, ‘That will also save us paying for extra insurance cover for injury claims by employees!”. But is this really the case?

When does a resident become an employee?

In legal terms, anyone who provides their labour for money is likely to be considered an employee. Even if you simply pay Harold £20 a month to clean the windows, you may be considered responsible as an employer in the event of an injury. If the resident is not working for any other individual or company, does not use their own tools or equipment or complete an invoice for their work, it will be unlikely that you will be covered by public liability insurance.

Say if your handy-man resident is a sole trader or runs their own business, they will not be seen as an employee. But if the tradesman is retired or has another job, it is essential as a ­block management company that you comply with the Employment Rights Act and any related Health & Safety regulations.

Your Responsibilities

Whether you employ a resident to mow the lawn or a professional contractor to do electrical work, ensure you are abiding by both the Safety at Work Act and The Employers Liability Act. An overview of both will give you some clear guidelines on what is expected of you as an employer and how to manage your block of flats without worrying about an expensive injury claim! If you are unsure what your current insurance policy covers, speak to a professional block of flats insurance specialist for more information.

If you are interested in learning more about block of flats insurance or need some guidance about directors and officers liability insurance, speak to our helpful team at Flats Direct on 0800 7316242 or 01202 862660 or fill out our quick block of flats insurance online quote now!