By now many of you will have heard of the upcoming changes made by the HMRC to how they want to have payroll information handled. Real Time Payroll, or RTI as it is also known is due to start on 6th of April 2013, and many businesses are already making a start on implementing the needed changes to comply with the new rules.

However, it is important to note that it isn’t just your payroll data that may need to be updated and handled differently as there have also been recent changes made by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). They have replaced the previously voluntary Employer’s Liability Code of Practice (ELCOP) tracing service which was set up in 1999 with a new compulsory scheme – The Employer’s Liability Tracing Office (ELTO).

What is the Employers Liability Tracing Office (ELTO)?

The Employers Liability Tracing Office (ELTO) is an independent body set up to manage a central database of Employers’ Liability insurance policies that can be searched against to help claimants pursue claims.

It is intended that the ELTO will help the insurance industry to meet its obligations to help anyone who has suffered an injury or disease caused by their workplace by helping the claimant to identify the right insurer quickly and easily.

What does this mean for me?

As an employer, you possibly have received a letter recently from your insurance broker asking you to provide them with an ERN or Employers Reference Number. The ERN is given to every business registered with the HMRC and is a unique set of letters and numbers which is used by the tax office to identify your business. It is also referred to as an Employer PAYE number.

You can find your ERN on many of your documents, including P45’s, P60’s P11/D and payslips.

You are required to supply your insurance broker with your ERN and any other relevant information such as a Company House Registration Number that will assist former employee’s to trace your business in the event of a claim relating to work induced injury or disease.

What happens if I don’t know my number or refuse to supply it?

If you do not provide the required information then it may be that your insurer decides that they are no longer able to insure you, which could impact your policy when it comes to time to renew.
If you don’t know and can’t find your ERN then you can contact the HMRC to ask them for it, they will ask you for details about your business to ensure that they have identified the correct business before giving you your ERN.

If you are still unsure of what to do then it is worth while talking to your insurance broker directly who can guide you through what information they need from you in order to make sure you remain covered by your employer liability policy.