The employer / employee relationship has always been an odd one as there are a couple of views...(I have spoken to Ian in the past & am pretty sure spent a few days on a boat with Alant1? )
My understanding is that an employee can be classed as anyone 'under contract of service' . This can of course include self employed - and also makes no difference if they are paid or voluntary - for example for employers liability ( being a legal requirment)is always needed (unless they are close family – but forget that bit for while)
Then of course this opens the door to the HSE rules about PPE - for example even self employed skippers are owed a responsibility & duty of care by employer to be provided with PPE ( water proofs etc etc)and not put in an unacceptable position re risk.
You can then get into liability cover with indemnity to principle clauses and the employers responsibility to employees ( defined any number of ways ! ) to ensure they are suitable trained & experienced risk assesed ( by the employer and the task also asssed by the employer etc for a certain role etc .....
Its been standard for a while that what are classed as ‘labour only subcontractors – ie self employed skippers in this case) who turn up and supply nothing except their own labour would already be covered under the ‘employer’ public liability cover .
Bonafide Sub contractors - ie those that supply ‘stuff’ and themselves would probably not be picked up by the employers public liability policy .
In both cases the ‘subcontractor/ employee’ or may not have a policy of their own ( its not legally required ) that could indemnify the employer for their own actions etc .
But of course its always worth remembering what the definition of what liability actually is is all about …….. what the priest did ( if he did it ) is not what can be reasonably expected etc …..
and of course - the differance between employers liability and public liability........
Of course and has been discussed this is just my personal view as I know bugger all about this stuff…….but I have been in discussion with an underwiter or two with 50+ years combined experiance who are 4 yards away from me .
(This post in no way is me making any kind of reccomendation or giving advice - its just me trying to show its a complex subject so people do need to seek thier own advice blah blah blah )