From April, most commercial insurers will have signed up to be members of the ELTO (Employers Liability Tracing Office) and, as a result, will not be able to renew any Employers Liability policy, or any business insurance policy such as Shops and Offices that include an Employers Liability section, unless they are in possession of the Employer Reference Number (ERN) – aka the Employer PAYE Reference – for the employer/company being covered.
The ELTO has been set up as a central database to help those who have suffered injury or disease in the workplace identify the relevant insurer quickly and efficiently. This means that all businesses who need Employers Liability cover must in a position to tell their insurance broker their ERN so that they can pass this information on to ELTO, a government agency. The fact that another government agency, the HMRC, actually issued the number in the first place and, therefore, presumably, know it already is not relevant. The Data Protection Act now prohibits them from sharing this information with the ELTO.
The ERN usually takes the form of a three digit number – HMRC office number followed by a reference number unique to your business. It appears on most correspondence you receive from HMRC, including your welcome pack from them and is also used on any P60s and P45s that are issued to employees.
You will also need to provide your registered address and the ERN of any subsidiary companies covered by your Employers Liability policy.
Contact a business insurance broker for assistance if you have any queries.