I have em client installed on my laptop but would like a notification of new mail to be sent to my cell phone, is this possible?

You can setup the same email account on your phone. More than just being notified of new messages, this will enable you to read and reply using either your phone or laptop.

I must be incredibly stupid but I haven’t has any luck getting this to work. The EM Client software wont install on android and when I try to add it as an account in the email software it errors and cant connect with the imap server to verify - any ideas? 

eM Client is a Windows only application. It will not run on Android. You need to use the email app that came with your phone, or install any of the many alternatives available in the Play Store.
Your email provider should have instructions on how to setup the email account on your phone. Check on their website.