Why you will be asked for your PAYE Employer Reference Number (ERN) number by ELTO

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 August 2014 07:28 Written by Ed Beckmann Monday, 5 December 2011 04:16

What is ELTO, and Why do they need my Employer PAYE reference number?

Today I got an email purportedly from my business insurers, giving a description of the Employer’s Liability Tracing Office (ELTO) and asking for my employer’s reference number (ERN), often termed the PAYE reference. In case you receive such a letter, here is what it means!

Like you, I always check out any correspondence asking me for detail of any kind, and I could not find any references to this at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) or Business Link‘s sites.

Briefly, ELTO is an organisation that has been set up voluntarily by the insurance industry to make it easier for people who are injured at work to find their employer’s insurance company to make a claim. They explain in more detail on their website.

They are setting up a database of all organisations who have employer’s liability cover and have chosen to use the employer’s reference number as the key number to find the right business, since names and addresses can all change easily. Now in theory if you bother to pay for employer’s liability you have employees so unless they all receive very low wages, you will have a PAYE or payroll scheme with the Inland Revenue (www.hmrc.gov.uk). The irony is, if you move that reference number may also change!

So in short, it seems that if you get a letter it can be a legitimate request (but of course check the email address that you reply to with your own records of your insurer) and they really do need the number. Of course you could reply to say you have no PAYE scheme if that applies to you.

What happens if you refuse to send ELTO your Employer Reference Number (ERN)?

Reading through the guidance that has been produced for insurance brokers (ELTO_BIBA_Broker_Guide_1011) it says ‘From April 2012, insurers might not provide cover for policies where additional data (including the ERN) has not been provided.’ So pretty clear then – if you do not supply a number then cover might not be provided.

I do not have all of the definitive references for this, but might have saved you a bit of digging!

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Your facebook activity might be insecure

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 August 2014 07:28 Written by Ed Beckmann Thursday, 17 November 2011 10:55

I have just seen a true posting on facebook about a change in their security settings that make your activity less safe.

What’s the problem?

When you want privacy around the stuff you type onto a web page, you should always be looking at a page that starts with https://   the_website_name. Ordinary pages start with just http://. Some browsers also show a little padlock at the foot of the page as well.

Facebook lets you log on via a secure page, but then takes you to insecure ones unless you specifically opt in.

How do I check?

Simply log onto facebook and go to your home page, or anyone else’s. Look in the address bar at the top of the page to see if you have http or https.

What can I do about it?

  1. Log on and click on the drop-down arrow to the right of ‘home’ in the top right of the screen
  2. select ‘account settings’
  3. on the left side of the new page there is a list starting general > security > notifications > …
  4. click on security
  5. the first option is ‘Secure Browsing’, followed by a sentence saying ‘Secure browsing is currently disabled’. Click on ‘edit’ to the right of this and tick the box to use a secure server
  6. Save changes and notice that the http has changed to https
  7. relax

Thanks for reading – please send a link to this blog to anyone you feel will appreciate it.

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Preventing and reporting scams

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 August 2014 07:29 Written by Ed Beckmann Friday, 1 April 2011 10:07

Do you want to reduce the impact of scams to your business?

Hopefully you already do something to minimise the amount of scam emails that you might get. If you do not know how to do this, then get a professional to look at your computer arrangements – your computer or laptop is probably your biggest assets and potential downfall, so you must budget for professional support (it can cost from less than £2 per week, probably less than you think).

Equally, it is a sad fact of life that you need to check anything that arrives by post or fax as well to make sure it is genuine.

I have put a link below to a blog posting which give you details of the Action Fraud website you can visit, and an email address to report scams. Do have a look, prevention schemes cost a lot to set up and they can only work with real information from you.

Let’s face it – the whole business community needs to take responsibility for reducing scams – they slow down the entire internet with their traffic!

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