The Employers’ Liability Tracing Office (ELTO) is an independent industry body comprising of Employers’ Liability (EL) insurers and other stakeholders representing the interests of claimants.

It was set up in April 2010 to be responsible for recording and managing a central database of EL policies known as the Employers’ Liability Database (ELD). This database records the majority of EL policies held by individual employers and makes it easier for personal injury claimants, in particular those who have been exposed to asbestos or who suffer long-tail injuries, to identify their employer’s previous insurers, enabling them to obtain compensation where appropriate.

Insurers have been required to send details of all new policies and renewals to the ELTO since April 2011. This is so that, over time, this will build a comprehensive record of EL policies with their associated insurers for UK employers. Claimants will be able to access this database via www.elto.org.uk.

Although FCA requirements relating to ELTO apply to insurers we can only meet our obligations with your help. We need your active support to capture the Employers’ Reference Number (ERN) and subsidiary information from your customers. From April 2012 it was an FCA requirement to capture ERNs and subsidiary information for all new and renewed policies.

ELTO members, such as RSA, need to supply this information to the ELD on a monthly basis, including their current book of all live EL policies.

An Employer Reference Number (ERN) is more commonly known as the Employer PAYE Reference and is a reference number assigned to a business and used by HMRC to record employees’ tax and national insurance contributions.

There’s been some concern around the fact that the ELTO are using a policyholder’s ERN to identify them within the EL database.

Some worry that this information will be used to cross-reference information with HMRC, or with other governmental bodies. However, this is not the case.

The FCA chose to use the ERN because it is a unique reference associated with each UK Company; in simple terms, ERNs are to companies what number plates are to road vehicles.

If you have a question that isn't answered here, contact your usual RSA representative for more information.