The Federation of Master Builders

Future Insurance claims and your ERN

Published date: 31 October 2019

If you needed to make a claim for injury in the future, would you know where to find your ERN number?

Many illnesses or injuries that occur within the construction industry can surface years or even decades after the time of the original exposure or accident. Hearing loss, vibration or exposure to asbestos are all examples of symptoms that can lead to insurance claims years later. In order to relate the illness back to the insurer at the time, you would need to provide an ERN number.

An ERN (Employee Reference Number) is given to every business that registers with HM Revenue and Customs as an employer. We request the ERN from all customers that purchase Employers Liability Insurance. This is then provided to ELTO (Employers' Liability Tracing Office) who keep it on record to show what companies are insured by which insurer between which dates.

Where to find your ERN number?

  • On any correspondence from HMRC about PAYE
  • On a P45, P60 or P11D that was issues to past or present employees
  • In the yellow booklet supplied by HMRC when you first registered as an employer
  • If your payroll is outsourced, your accountant or bookkeeper
  • Or, you can call HMRC’s Employer Helpline on 0300 200 3200

Example of an ERN number:


Employer PAYE reference: This is the employee reference number and ERN. It will contain a / as the 4th character and is less than 13 characters in length.

When is someone exempt from providing an ERN?

  • The insured pays all their employees below the lower earnings limit (See HMRC website
  • None of their employees has another job
  • None of their employees are in receipt of state or occupational pension or other employee benefits.
  • The company is registered in the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands (These places have no tax presence in the UK)

 For further information or if you have any questions, please contact our specialist and friendly team who will be happy to assist on 01353 652760 or visit

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