Change in Legislation for Employers Liability Insurance Holders
Not sure that you have an ERN? Or think that you’ve lost it? If you employ someone (or are thinking of doing so) you should be registered with HMRC as an employer. If you don’t think you have an ERN, it could mean that you’re not registered. Make sure you double-check with HMRC that you are.
And if you can’t find it? Don’t worry – any correspondence you’ve had from HMRC relating to PAYE will have your ERN on it. Likewise, it’ll be noted on any P45s and P60s for both previous and current employees (if you have copies).
Once you have it, just make sure you keep your ERN safe and sound – and easily accessible. You’ll need it regularly throughout the year (and not just to stop us nagging you for it).
ERN – what you need to know
An Employee Reference Number (ERN) is a unique number given to all businesses registered as employers by HMRC. It’s made up of letters and numbers and is given to every registered business. An ERN is made up of a three digit HMRC office number and then a reference number that’s unique to the business.
You will need your ERN to for a number of reasons:
1. to complete your end of year tax return – not having an ERN is the most common reason why tax returns are rejected as incomplete
2. to give to your employees if they need it to apply for tax credits
3. when applying for employers’ liability insurance – although it’s not always required by insurers at the moment, including an ERN with an application or a renewal of employers’ liability insurance is soon to become law.
The reason why ERNs are going to become necessary for anyone applying for Employers’ Liability insurance is to make sure that even if an employee makes a claim for damages against an employer many years after they’ve worked for them, it will be easy to check on the amount and type of insurance the employer had at the time, by using the ERN reference.
An independent body the Employers’ Liability Tracing Office will undertake the search using a central database that includes ERN and employers’ liability insurance information to match up claimants and insurance policies. This should make it much easier for everyone – insurers and claimants – to resolve claims quickly. For companies this will also mean that if they have to deal with a claim against them, they can prove that they had insurance in place at the time so that the insurer has to deal with the claim and not them.
Make sure you have an ERN
1. To obtain an ERN you must register as an employer – this usually done when you first start paying PAYE for your employees, but should be done as soon as you start employing someone.
2. To find out what your ERN is, look at any correspondence from the HMRC relating to your employees’ PAYE, the number will be printed on the letter.
3. If your employer’s liability insurance is due for renewal, make sure you give your ERN with the renewal instruction.