• May 29, 2024

AV & Events: Insuring your freelancers correctly

Freelancers provide invaluable assistance within the Audio Visual and Events industry – here’s what to consider when employing their help.

Aveventsfreelancerblog Copy

Many hands make light work. In the case of AV & Events, the flexibility of freelancers is a great asset which can guide projects over the finish line irrespective of their size. When it comes to insurance, however, the goal might not be so obvious – meaning it’s important to seek proper guidance and avoid operating with inadequate cover.

Whose responsibility is it, anyway?

Freelancers are a common source of labour in the AV & Events industry – understanding their insurance requirements in turn is vital, and a regular point of conversation with our specialists. 

When it comes to hiring that much-needed assistance, freelancers can find themselves mistakenly placed into the same category as a bona-fide sub-contractor, meaning clients have little responsibility towards them. It should be noted that there are differences between these two, like details concerning taxation law and employment law. As such, it is key to ascertain precisely who you are employing, and your responsibilities concerning those individuals.


Never make assumptions

In the face of uncertainty it’s not uncommon to assume that a freelancer will be okay to work on the grounds that they already have their own insurance. 

However, if you enlist the help of a freelancer they will usually be regarded as your employee on that day. Moreover, having their own insurance may not make a difference.

Why does it matter?

Due to their temporary employee status, you will have the same duty of care towards freelancers as you would towards your own employees. Your Health & Safety Policy and Risk Assessments therefore need to take this into consideration. If a freelancer is injured on site, they will usually have a claim against your Employer’s Liability Insurance and their wages need to be declared to your insurer on the same basis as employees. If they have not been correctly disclosed, it could invalidate your insurance.


Get yourself out of the grey with our checklist

To better understand, for insurance purposes, the status of the sub-contractors, we have provided the following guidance. This will help you determine whether a worker is a freelancer or bona-fide sub-contractor.

Freelancers will usually:

  • Be paid by the hour, week, or month
  • Receive overtime pay or bonus payment
  • Only supply their own small hand tools
  • Conduct the work themselves
  • Be told by the principal contractor at any time what to do, where to carry out the work or when and how to do it
  • Be moved from task to task by the principal contractor
  • Work a set number of hours.

Bona-fide Sub-Contractors will usually:

  • Agree to do a job for a fixed price regardless of how long the job may take
  • Correct unsatisfactory work in their own time and at their own expense
  • Provide or hire in the main items of equipment they need to do their job, not just the small tools
  • Hire someone to do the work or engage helpers at their own expense
  • Within an overall deadline be able to decide what work to do, how and when to do the work and where to provide the services
  • Have a contract of service as opposed to a contract of employment
  • Work for a number of different people other than the principal
  • Pay the cost of all materials or supplies required for the work without being reimbursed (excluding minor items and consumables)
  • Risk their own money - if they bid for a job and the bid is too low, they have to bear the additional cost themselves
  • Hold public liability insurance in their own name.


Contact us

Please note the above is only a guide to correctly covering and identifying freelancers. For more information on AV & Events cover visit our designated page or call our specialists via 01494 733 337 to discuss your particular insurance requirements. 

Share this post