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Students involved in work experience on employers’ premises should be treated in the same way as regular employees.  The British Insurance & Investment Brokers Association, the Association of British Insurers and Lloyds of London have agreed that students on work experience placement in conformity with the 1973 Act should be treated as employees for the purposes of insurance.


Consequently, an existing employers' liability insurance policy will cover  work placements providing that the  insurer is a member of the Association of British Insurers, so for the majority of employers there is no need to obtain any additional insurance.


Each employer approved by The Employability Partnership is asked to agree and sign a ‘Letter of Understanding’ which deals in part with insurance and the employer’s acceptance of responsibility during the period of work experience.


The table below details the possible risks associated with work experience and the relevant policy. The majority of policies are the responsibility of the employer, with the exception of personal accident, which school should ensure is in place.



  Principal Risks

    Insurance Policy               



  Injury to students themselves 

    Employer’s Liability       


  Injury to employees on the premises

    Employer’s Liability


  Injury to others caused by students

    Public Liability


  Damage to/or loss of employer’s property

    Material Damage


  Damage to property of others on the firm’s premises

    Public Liability


  Personal Accident to students

    Personal Accident





Sole traders


Although there is no legal necessity for sole traders to take out ELI, it is a requirement for work experience for the duration of the placement and temporary cover can often be purchased as an addition to existing policies for a nominal charge.  There are some exemptions, where the student has a particular family relationship to the employer, eg:  son, daughter, brother, sister.  However, it does not go as far as niece, nephew or cousin or in-laws, so it is sensible to check the guidance – see section entitled “Does The Law Apply to Me”

Where there is an exemption, Public liability Insurance should still be in place to cover the student and their work activities.


Student travel


If the placement involves travel in a vehicle belonging to the employer or a sub-contractor, the appropriate insurances must be in place – this would usually need to be fully comprehensive cover that is extended to include business use.


Travel to and from the student’s home and the place of work is not the responsibility of the employer.


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