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Indemnity for occupational health nurses

See the RCN Indemnity page for full details of the RCN Indemnity Scheme.

As an RCN member, if you are working in a self-employed or voluntary capacity you can benefit from our indemnity scheme. 

It is important to read through the scheme fully to make sure you will be covered.

There is also advice available on self-employment for RCN members in the advice area of this website.

The RCN does not provide members with personal letters confirming cover

We cannot issue an individual guarantee of future cover in writing.

The RCN indemnity scheme is an occurrence based policy rather than insurance policy. We cannot decide in advance if a future application for indemnity would be successful as it is impossible to foresee the circumstances of future incidents and the claims related to them.

Use your RCN membership and the RCN indemnity scheme document as evidence of your existing cover.

In the event of a claim against you, the RCN legal department or solicitors appointed by the RCN, will investigate the circumstances, including you membership history and arrangements, to ensure that the relevant conditions of the scheme were satisfied at the time of the incident, and that none of the exclusions were applicable.

Criteria for RCN indemnity cover for self-employed members:

In order to decide if you are eligible for cover, the RCN applies the general employment law test used by the courts to determine eligibility for statutory employment rights.

We consider a range of factors including: 

  • whether you were obliged to accept work assignments from the relevant ‘employing’ organisation and, conversely, whether the latter was obliged to offer such work (known as ‘mutuality of obligation’)
  • the degree of control exercised by the employing organisation
  • tax and insurance arrangements; provision of holiday, sick leave and pay;
  • any disciplinary, grievance and other terms routinely provided for in contracts of employment;
  • substitution clauses (i.e. the worker is entitled to provide a substitute when unavailable for work);
  • who supplied any relevant equipment.

As a self-employed member, you should note, the exclusions about using others in your business to deliver your services.

If an employee is employed under a contract with an ‘umbrella’ company, for the purposes of supplying services, via an agency, to a client or ‘end user’ of the agency, their employment status will mean that they are not covered by the RCN scheme, for work performed through the umbrella company.

The agency, as the employer, and therefore vicariously liable for the employee’s actions, should make appropriate indemnity arrangements.

It is also important to note:

The scheme is also only for the work you do providing it is undertaking health and social care activity, acceptable to the RCN. To do this our scheme would only apply providing you were appropriately trained and competent in the work you are doing in accordance to the NMC code

The scheme does not apply if the negligence claim is for a pure financial loss, not associated with any personal injury or damage to property.