Thursday, 14 November 2013

Employers Liability Tracing Office (ELTO) and Employer Reference Numbers (ERN)

Employers Liability (EL) insurance was made compulsory under the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969. It effectively means that most employers need to purchase EL insurance in order to trade legally.
EL insurance enables employers to meet the cost of compensation should an employee suffer illness or injury related to the work they do, whether this occurs on or off-site.

Many business owners may be wondering why they have been asked to supply their broker/insurer with their ERN (Employer Reference Number) upon inception of a new policy, or renewal of an existing policy, which incorporates EL cover. The ERN number is passed by the broker/insurer to the Employers’ Liability Tracing Office (ELTO)
ELTO is an independent industry body comprising members who are EL insurers and is a proactive move by the insurance industry to meet its obligations to help those who have suffered injury or disease in the workplace identify the relevant insurer quickly and efficiently. Some injuries or illnesses can take many years to manifest themselves, so this is especially relevant where a company has ceased trading or there is no immediately obvious point of contact to advise of the insurer for a specific cover period.

At the heart of this process is a centralised database – the Employers’ Liability Database (ELD). Claimants, claimant lawyers, employers, brokers, insurers and defendant lawyers can use the search facility where there is a specific claim in question.

There are very few ERN exceptions.
In all cases where PAYE is operated, an ERN is allocated to the employer and the ERN applies to all
UK businesses employing one or more people.

A minority of employers do not have an ERN, including those that:
• Pay all employees below the Lower Earnings Limit, none of the employees has another job, and none of the employees is in receipt of a state or occupational pension or other employee benefits, or;
• Are registered in the Isle of Man, or the Channel Islands (these have no tax presence in the UK).

The ERN is found on many documents including P45, P60, P45, P60, P11/D and many payslips.
ERNs will normally begin with three numbers (representing the tax office whose catchment area the employer falls into) followed by a forward slash and then a combination of letters and numbers. e.g. 083/WY12345.

If you are insured through Advance Insurance Agencies Ltd (AIA) and you haven’t yet supplied your ERN number to us, please call 01249 463206 to do so.

For more information on the services AIA provide, please visit

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