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What Is a Payroll Number?

Updated: Dec 15, 2022

The payroll number is a unique sequence of letters and numbers that an employer can assign to every employee who works for a company. Particularly beneficial for large corporations where sensitive personal information may be linked to their payroll number to ensure safe and effective tracking. Although it's not a requirement under the law for companies to issue the payroll number to employees, many businesses make use of these unique identifiers to safeguard the personal information of employees and minimize the chance of making mistakes in the payroll process. To make it easier for you to understand the ways that a payroll number could aid in ensuring the security of data in your business, we will discuss the payroll number in greater detail, and look at some of the common payroll issues.

What Is a Payroll Number?

How Do You Find a Payroll Number on Your Payslip?

The payroll number is located on the payslip typically next to the name of the employee. The number might appear differently in each business but it may appear like this "0123456". When you are deciding on how to format the payroll numbers of your company There aren't any strict format rules or guidelines but it's worthwhile to establish a common method to keep your payroll numbers organized across the company. For instance, an HR or payroll manager might prefer to separate departments by adding a short prefix of letters before the numbers. This will help to ensure that the formatting process is consistent and minimize the risk of duplicate numbers being generated across the organization.

What is the Purpose of a Payroll Number?

A payroll number is an individual identifier that may be given to employees for a particular company. Any relevant information regarding the employee in question, such as the name, title, and contact information along with their job description, working hours as well as their salary, and benefits can be linked to their pay number.

This allows businesses to monitor employees' activities efficiently by using a single number. It eliminates the requirement to store excessive information about their employees in multiple databases.

For a second confirmation of identity, Payroll numbers reduce the possibility of records being confused when a business employs two or more employees with similar names. In the same way, in the event that an employee's identity alters during their time at work, having the payroll number can help ensure that records are kept in a consistent manner.

Who Creates Payroll Numbers?

Each company has the right to decide how it will approach the process of creating payroll numbers. The payroll numbers may be created through the department of HR or provided by an outsourcing company according to their system or automatically generated using payroll software. There are different ways different payroll programs process payroll numbers. Whoever is in charge of the payroll must have access to an entire file of the old and current pay numbers so that they are able to double-check that there aren't any duplicate payroll numbers that have been issued by mistake.

How is the PAYE Reference Number Different from the Payroll Number?

If your company is registered to pay PAYE, employees will receive an ID number for the PAYE program from HMRC. This is distinct from a payroll reference number. PAYE reference number is three-digit HMRC number which is followed by a unique number that is tied to your business. It could look like this 123/AB12345. For a company, this PAYE reference number is used for the completion of the year-end PAYE Tax Returns.

Does an Employer have to Submit Payroll Numbers to HMRC?

Employers are not obliged to provide payroll numbers to HMRC. However, it is suggested that employers should keep a record of their employees' payroll numbers for later use.

How Do You Find a Payroll Number?

Common Payroll Number Issues

There are many common payroll number issues that may arise. The errors, particularly when they are discovered late, may be difficult to rectify and may cause payroll problems like an employee not receiving the correct amount. For instance, if an employee leaves and is re-employed by the same business, then a new payroll ID has to be allocated - they can't be linked to the old number. This is due to the fact that a payroll number is used for each job, not for an individual person.

Does HMRC Require an Employer to Assign Payroll Numbers to Their Employee?

There is no requirement, HMRC does not require employers to assign the payroll numbers of their employees, but it is advised employers assign payroll numbers in order to monitor employee deductions and payments.

What are the Benefits of Assigning Payroll Numbers to Employees?

There are many advantages of assigning payroll numbers to employees including:

● Determining the amount of employee pay and deductions.

● Making it easier to find Payslips of employees.

● Ensuring that the information of employees is correct.

● Employers can make reports about employee payments.

● Reduce the risk of errors on the payroll.

What can a Payroll Number do to Aid in Protecting Employee Information?

Larger companies can benefit enormously from using payroll numbers to keep track of their employees. Because a significant amount of personal information is linked to each employee. Additionally, if you have multiple workers who have similar names there's a possibility that sensitive data could be given to the wrong person and result in a significant security breach. Payroll numbers ensure that the exact information, which includes the salary and personal details should be linked to the relevant employee.


In this article, we have discussed payroll numbers and how they can be utilized for employers within the United Kingdom. We also discussed the benefits of assigning payroll numbers to employees. If you're an employer in the UK it is recommended to assign payroll numbers to employees to help keep track of their deductions and payments more conveniently. If you want to outsource the payroll services you can contact us. We are the leading payroll service providers in the UK for more information call us at 07341371345.


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