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Employers’ Liability Tracing Office (ELTO)

The Employers Liability Tracing Office (ELTO) is an independent industry body comprising members who are Employers’ Liability (EL) insurers.

ELTO 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.  At the heart of this process is a centralized database – the Employers’ Liability Database (ELD).

We are required to supply policy data to the ELD on all new and renewed EL policies from the 1st April 2011.  You will be asked to supply your Employers’ Reference Number (ERN) (if applicable) together with any subsidiary details.

You can send your ERN information to us by email at, detailing your ERN where applicable, details of any subsidiary companies where applicable or whether you are exempt.  Further information regarding exemptions is below.

Employers’ Reference Numbers (ERN)

The ELD’s ability to provide enquirers with successful trace results will be supported by establishing a unique identifier for employers.  ELTO has adopted the ERN as the most effective unique identifier.

Each organization operating a PAYE scheme is allocated an ERN.  This is the reference number for their employees’ income tax and national insurance contributions; also commonly referred to as “Employer PAYE Reference”.

ERN Formats

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.

Where to find the Employer Reference Number (ERN)

The ERN can be found on many documents including: P45, P60, P11/D and the Employer Payment Booklet.

ERN Exemptions

There are very few ERN exemptions. 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).

Some employers have multiple ERNs

Whilst rare, some employers possess more than one ERN, including those operating separate PAYE schemes for different business locations, ex-pats or company directors.

We are required to capture all ERNs for all employers covered on the policy.

If you require any further help on the above then please do not hesitate to give us a call.