The owner of a Herne Bay hair salon has been fined for failing to provide legally required insurance cover that enables employees to claim damages should they be injured at work.
The owner neglected to arrange Employers' Liability Compulsory Insurance (ELCI) when he took over the business last year.
Canterbury Magistrates' Court heard that an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in August 2012 into a complaint from a concerned employee established there was no cover in place for at least three months.
This meant that staff had no means of pursuing a civil claim against the business had they been injured at work, or contracted a work-related illness or disease, in the interim period.
Most employers are required by law to provide ELCI cover to ensure successful civil claims can be met.
After the hearing HSE Inspector Caroline Fullman said:
"Thankfully none of the employees suffered a work-related injury or illness that warranted a claim for damages, but had they done so they would have been denied a chance to claim the compensation as recompense for whatever pain and suffering they had endured.
"That is the purpose of ELCI. It is not a trivial optional extra, it is a compulsory requirement that is designed solely to protect employees.
"The law expects employers to take all reasonably practicable steps to prevent their workforce from being injured or becoming ill, but if incidents do occur then Employers' Liability Compulsory Insurance cover is vital."