Employers’ Liability Tracing Office (ELTO)

ELTO is an independent industry body comprised of 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 centralised database – the Employers’ Liability Database (ELD).

Folgate is required to supply policy data to the ELD on all new and renewed EL policies from 1st April 2011. From this date onwards, you will be asked to supply your clients’ Employers’ Reference Number (ERN) (if applicable), together with any subsidiary details prior to inception of the policy.

Alternatively, you can send your clients’ ERN information to us by email at elto@folgateltd.com, detailing their policy number, ERN where applicable, details of any subsidiary companies where applicable or whether they are exempt. Further information regarding exemptions is below.

Where the information is not supplied to you prior to inception, we ask that you use your best endeavours to obtain it from your client and send it to us within 30 days from inception.


The FCA (www.fca.org.uk) requires all insurers writing UK employers’ liability insurance to supply this information to ELTO in an orderly and timely fashion. From 1st April 2013, the FCA expects the UK market to be 100% compliant and sanctions and/or penalties will be imposed where there is a short fall or late submission of data.

Therefore, it is clearly an important regulatory issue that the whole UK EL market, brokers and insurers alike, need to take seriously and act on now to install adequate procedures for the collection of ELTO information from clients.

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 organisation operating a PAYE scheme is allocated an ERN. This is the reference number for their employees’ income tax and national insurance contributions; it is also commonly referred to as the 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 123/AB12345.

Where to find the Employer Reference Number (ERN)

The ERN can be found on many documents including the 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.

More guidance can be found at www.elto.org.uk or click here to view A Broker’s Guide to Supplying Employers’ Liability Data.