Health & Safety

Legal Expenses Insurance

Since new sentencing guidelines were introduced in 2016, the average fine for safety offences has risen by a staggering 381%, from £27,000 to £130,000 per conviction.

If you’re concerned about the rising cost of non-compliance and the impact a serious safety incident might have on your bottom line, Legal Expenses Insurance (LEI) can provide added protection for your organisation.

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How we help

Cover against the commercial ramifications of a serious safety incident

For many employers, a six-figure penalty will have a significant impact. An optional element of our fixed-fee Health & Safety support, our FCA-regulated Legal Expenses Insurance can bring you peace of mind during the most difficult of times.

  • Independent and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
  • Includes the highest-quality legal representation in the event of health and safety prosecutions
  • Can be used to appeal improvement or prohibition notices served upon you by the regulator
  • Covers Fee for Intervention (FFI) charges of £154 per hour, plus initial representation
  • Proactive day-to-day support from a dedicated professional to prevent issues before they arise

Related resources

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Guilty Until Proven Innocent | Why Health and Safety Law Puts the Onus on Employers

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Highest Recent Health and Safety Fines, Including Record-Breaking £6.5m Penalty

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Fee for Intervention FAQ

Dramatically reduce your risk with proactive risk management support

It’s not just your finances that stand to suffer from a health and safety prosecution; there’s also the loss and distress to those affected, potential for reputational damage, and the significant drain on your time, energy and resources.

At WorkNest, our ultimate aim is to help you prevent these issues before they arise through ongoing support from dedicated Health & Safety specialists. And it works – with our advice, support and safety management systems, we could reduce the risk of prosecution by c.50% and cut the cost of any fine imposed by more than 85%.

Popular FAQs

Common queries about our Legal Expenses Insurance, answered by our Health & Safety specialists.

What is FFI?

If you’re visited by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and found to be in “material breach” of health and safety law, the regulator will charge for the time spent identifying these breaches, as well as time spent reviewing the measures you introduce to put things right. Only when they’re satisfied that the breach has been dealt with do they stop the clock. This is known as Fee for Intervention or FFI. At a charge of £154 per hour, FFI can easily lead to a £1,200 – £1,400 bill. If you take LEI, you can claim these costs under your LEI policy, up to a ceiling of £5,000.

What is an enforcement notice?

There are different types of enforcement notices that investigators can serve, ranging from a written warning requiring you to terminate a particular practice to notification that you’re facing criminal prosecution. Typically, if a breach is found, you will be served with either an improvement notice or a prohibition notice. An improvement notice orders you to undertake modifications to address the shortcomings identified, while a prohibition notice requires an activity to be stopped immediately, and to not recommence until corrective action has been taken.
WorkNest clients are 60% less likely to be served with an enforcement notice compared to the national average.

We’re worried enforcement action might be taken against us. What happens next?

Our LEI covers early intervention. This means, in circumstances where you believe there’s a possibility of some sort of enforcement action and want to tackle it early on, you can get legal support to challenge the picture identified and paint a positive picture of your organisation as willing to learn and put things right.
This normally means getting a solicitor involved, which will be covered by our LEI, no matter the prospects. You will be covered for up to £2,500 of the solicitor’s costs, and we can establish the facts beforehand so that you can optimise their time.

What happens if there’s an accident in our workplace? Is it likely we will be fined?

Most reportable accidents in the workplace are not followed up by the regulator, but if they do take an interest, you are more likely to be subject to some sort of enforcement action being taken. This may be an enforcement notice, or FFI breach. Alternatively, it may be the start of criminal proceedings that end up in court, the cost of which can be significant.

Does LEI include legal representation?

Yes. If you choose to defend the claim, our LEI includes legal support right the way through a case, including barrister’s costs. Here, there will be a prospect of success assessment; the likelihood of an acquittal will need to be more than 50% in order to be covered by the LEI. However, if you’ve followed advice from your dedicated WorkNest Health & Safety Consultant, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t be covered in this situation. In reality, if we have identified an issue and you’ve taken the corrective action we recommended, you shouldn’t find yourself in this situation in the first place.

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Why choose us?

Experts in Health & Safety

We have the expertise to help you simplify complex health and safety legislation, find workable solutions to health and safety challenges, and protect your organisation from the rising cost of non-compliance. 

  • Approved by a Primary Authority
  • Dedicated specialists with recognised qualifications
  • Genuine hands-on experience of managing risk
  • Cost certainty with our unlimited, fixed-fee model
  • The confidence to act as one of your competent persons

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