It is a source of additional worry (above the prospect of unemployment) to employees who have been injured at work, to find that their employer is insolvent.
The reason for that lies in the fact that, in Ireland, only a party (the employer) to employers’ liability insurance may sue an insurance company for an indemnity in respect of a claim made against the employer.
In addition, in the general law of insurance, any money paid to the insolvent employer by the insurance company would become the property of the insolvent company and would be swallowed up in the insolvency.
To avoid this, the Oireachtas legislated in Section 62 of the Civil Liability Act 1961;
62.—Where a person (hereinafter referred to as the insured) who has effected a policy of insurance in respect of liability or a wrong, if an individual, becomes a bankrupt or dies or, of a corporate body, is wound up or, if a partnership or other incorporated association, is dissolved, moneys payable to the insured under the policy shall be applicable only to discharging on full all valid claims against the insured in respect of which those moneys are payable, and no part of those moneys shall be assets of the insured or applicable to the payment of the debts (other than those claims) of the insured in the bankruptcy or in the administration of the estate of the insured or in the winding-up or dissolution, and no such claim shall be provable in the bankruptcy, administration, winding-up or dissolution.”
As a consequence of the Section a liquidator holds the money in trust for the insured employee and should pay it directly to the employee in the appropriate circumstances.