Human Billboard

SMBIRE

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27
I am looking to have someone place themselves in an area of high footfall wearing branded clothing advertising a business.

I am a sole trader starting off and not vat registered and don't want to have employees.

The person will be paid €12 per hour.

From a temp recruitment company perspective the cost could be calculated as a charge of €18 per hour plus vat at 23% = hourly charge of €22.14.

Going through the recruitment company will therefore increase the real cost by 85% for me and I'm not sure what my legal responsibilities are to this person in this scenario.

With the way the legal system is setting payouts for various injuries in the tens of thousands I want to make sure that I can't be hit for a big claim should they injury themselves while working on my behalf or any other financial claim they may have on me above their agreed pay.

Can you advise me on how I can structure this to remove any chance of liability should they hurt their toe while minimising the cost and admin involved? Thanks.
 

peteb

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1,715
He's your employee for the purposes of this. So you are obliged to provide safe system and place of work etc. If they get injured they can sue you so it would probably be advisable to have employers liability cover if you want to minimise your exposure.

Also in the current climate im not sure a human billboard is an essential worker so he should probably be staying at home. Probably wont see much benefit from that though!
 

dereko1969

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2,900
I am looking to have someone place themselves in an area of high footfall wearing branded clothing advertising a business.

I am a sole trader starting off and not vat registered and don't want to have employees.

The person will be paid €12 per hour.

From a temp recruitment company perspective the cost could be calculated as a charge of €18 per hour plus vat at 23% = hourly charge of €22.14.

Going through the recruitment company will therefore increase the real cost by 85% for me and I'm not sure what my legal responsibilities are to this person in this scenario.

With the way the legal system is setting payouts for various injuries in the tens of thousands I want to make sure that I can't be hit for a big claim should they injury themselves while working on my behalf or any other financial claim they may have on me above their agreed pay.

Can you advise me on how I can structure this to remove any chance of liability should they hurt their toe while minimising the cost and admin involved? Thanks.
Only way to possibly reduce potential of claims and costs is to get a family member, and even then.....where currently has "high footfall"?
 

trajan

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Messages
146
I never liked to see people being used as mobile billboards.
However, needs must at times for both the human under the billboard and the business sending him/her out.
If any of your current employees (who are already covered to some degree - though maybe not for the new circumstances of work, please check and get explicit confirmation from your business insurance broker) are short of work, they might be up for it.
 

Steven Barrett

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3,797
Never mind the insurance, I would say your roi on this would be very low. I presume they would have to hold a sign too pointing in the direction of the shop, otherwise they are just a person standing on the street. Even with a sign, how would passers by know that they are wearing clothes from the shop? And if it's cold, they will put on a coat and no one will see the clothes anyway. Human billboards are largely ignored anyway.

You're better off knowing who your target market are and spending the money on google, facebook or instagram.
 

dublin67

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333
I'd personally be starting off with a limited company and avoid the liability issue altogether.
 

SMBIRE

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27
To address some of the points noted in the replies.

I have identified an area where my target market passes through, on foot and in high numbers, and the branded clothing will direct them to a website, not a physical shop and this could be done after the lockdown restrictions have been lifted when footfall will return to pre-covid levels. It can raise brand awareness which will help with conversions in the future in conjunction with other advertising methods and not necessarily on the day they first see the human billboard ad. They will wear branded clothing (with a call to action message and a website, not simply a company logo) and will not be required to hold any advertising material. The branded clothing will be worn outside any other layers of clothing and they will be instructed not to cover the message with anything so that is not a concern especially as I will be doing spot checks to see the reaction of the people passing by and can make sure that it the message is visible. The expense will be low until I can gauge the success of this so the risk of a low ROI won't break the bank. These are all minute details. It is the employers liability I am potentially exposed to that is of concern and the legalities of this particular scenario can be adapted to other situations so I wouldn't get too bogged down in the specific details of the advertising strategy.

***

Effectively I'm looking at a way to eliminate any liability I have for this person who will never be on my premises but will be in a public area. If I hire them through a temp agency who is their employer technically I am assuming for the moment that effectively I am not their employer and have no responsibility towards them or liability should they fall down and hurt themselves during working hours?

This would also eliminate any employer related admin work as I simply pay the invoice sent by the temp agency.
 
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SMBIRE

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He's your employee for the purposes of this. So you are obliged to provide safe system and place of work etc. If they get injured they can sue you so it would probably be advisable to have employers liability cover if you want to minimise your exposure.

If an Uber Eats or Deliveroo delivery cyclist is injured they can't (successfully) sue the companies I believe and due to the nature of the work I'm sure there are minor injuries and damage to bikes on a daily basis. They are not employees also. Is this structured in a way that could be utilized by small sole traders who have a few hours of work available for someone but don't want the risk and admin associated with taking on the first employee.
 

SMBIRE

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You're better off knowing who your target market are and spending the money on google, facebook or instagram.

Everyone else is doing that and ignoring the competitive benefits of actually being in the geographical area of your customer base and having a knowledge of it that someone pushing paid ads on social media and using google analytics and pixels to track conversions has overlooked.

I have taught myself Photoshop and Illustrator and done all the research on colours and emotions and calls to action and keywords to target the social media side of things but it requires quite a large ongoing budget as they have all but killed off organic reach. Social media is fantastic for re-targeting but simply targeting people between the ages of X and Y who live in Z and like ABC without some good A/B testing is usually a sign of someone just handing money to Mark.

Marketing Week found that;

Almost half of Brits (40%) ‘actively ignore’ social posts or ads from brands, according to a new study by Kantar TNS, which polled 70,000 global consumers, of which 3,200 were British.

On a global basis, just over a quarter (26%) of consumers choose to ignore branded content, while 34% feel ‘constantly followed’ by online advertising.

Scepticism for social media ads is at its highest in both Sweden and Denmark, with 57% of each country’s consumers bypassing branded content altogether.

*I can't post a link to the article but there are many reputable studies showing this which leaves a lot of potential customers out there to target in more conventional ways.
 
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SMBIRE

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I'd personally be starting off with a limited company and avoid the liability issue altogether.

The ltd will bear the liability in that case and also comes with much more compliance so there is a cost, especially time. Insurance costs relative to the actual time they would be working over the course of a year would be prohibitive.

I want to avoid the liability by structuring things in such as way that the liability won't arise regardless of whether the business is operated as a sole trader or company limited by shares.
 

SMBIRE

Registered User
Messages
27
I never liked to see people being used as mobile billboards.
However, needs must at times for both the human under the billboard and the business sending him/her out.
If any of your current employees (who are already covered to some degree - though maybe not for the new circumstances of work, please check and get explicit confirmation from your business insurance broker) are short of work, they might be up for it.
I can tell you from personal experience working in McDonalds that it is much better to be paid the same to wander around an area while listing to music on your headphones that be frying 20 burgers at a time over a hot grill on a busy Saturday night:)
 

peteb

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If an Uber Eats or Deliveroo delivery cyclist is injured they can't (successfully) sue the companies I believe and due to the nature of the work I'm sure there are minor injuries and damage to bikes on a daily basis. They are not employees also. Is this structured in a way that could be utilized by small sole traders who have a few hours of work available for someone but don't want the risk and admin associated with taking on the first employee.
Uber Eats aren't using a recruitment company to get employees. The recruitment company would have contigency EL to cover them if they are drawn into any acount, which a solicitor would do as they'd be an easy mark. You might be able to argue a grey area but you'll spend a a lot of your own money doing it without insurance.
 

SMBIRE

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Uber Eats aren't using a recruitment company to get employees. The recruitment company would have contigency EL to cover them if they are drawn into any acount, which a solicitor would do as they'd be an easy mark. You might be able to argue a grey area but you'll spend a a lot of your own money doing it without insurance.



I contacted a recruitment company with this query and this said they were 'fully insured'. I would need to see if I'm covered by going through them and any misfortune that may befall the person during working hours would be covered by the recruitment companies insurance.

As well as the liability issue I am looking to avoid the compliance and admin issues that come with having an employee which using a recruitment company would solve.

To go from €12 an hour for an employee to €22.14 through a recruitment company (inc. VAT) and having to add an amount on to this hourly cost for employer liability insurance is starting add up fast so hopefully the recruitment company EL will be sufficient and remove any requirement for me to obtain my own insurance for this person. Regarding your final sentence are you saying that even with going through a recruitment company I could be potentially liable and should get employer liability insurance?
 

peteb

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The recruitment company can tell you what they like. But if they are not found legally liable their insurer won't be doing anything for them. They may be fully insured but that doesnt mean they are extending their cover to you. They'd be mad to. They can't control or see what you are doing with the person in question.

A person can sue whomever they want for any apparent reason once they have the money and the solicitor prepared to take their money to provide the service. If you dont have employers liability insurance you will be funding the defence of any suit taken against you yourself. Doesn't matter if you arent liable, there will still be a cost to extract yourself from the matter.
 

SMBIRE

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27
When you put it like that...

To offer someone the chance to make a few euro and help a small business advertise themselves comes with all sorts of pitfalls. I'll have to look into the cost of insurance for this as I really don't want to open myself up to a €60,000 personal injury claim.

Thanks for taking the time to discuss it with me folks.
 

Ciru75

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118
Presumably you're VAT registered and can reclaim this portion of the cost at least.
 

SMBIRE

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Not yet. Its early days and I haven't hit the threshold so VAT is a real cost.

That person earning a gross wage of €12 per hour is going to cost significantly more than that:(
 
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