“Is there a problem giving a returning employee his former ID number?”

Question: What is the risk for me, or for my employer, if when I return to my former employer, they give me back my former employee I.D. number?                                                               

Moutaz el Hassan

Answer: Dear Moutaz: I see no risk to either the employee or to the employer if returning employees are given their former employer ID numbers. In fact, I believe it is far better to do just that.             

1. Clarity and simplicity are always in everyone’s interests. Over the many years, I have been called upon to assist many employees with problems that arose from simple errors in records, error of identity, errors of calculation, and the like. Though seemingly simple and mundane, these things do happen, often create much larger problems, and can be very difficult to resolve. Perhaps to a fault, I always recommend that clarity and simplicity are to be pursued whenever and wherever possible.       

2. I would expect that assigning returning employees their former ID numbers would result in fewer errors regarding income allocations, tax matters and benefits calculations. If such a simple thing as assigning the same ID number to an employee can prevent these kinds of problems, then I would fully support it. Perhaps that is why here, in the U.S., we usually see employers use an employee’s unique and permanent Social Security Number as an employee identifying number.

3. Though I don’t know Sudanese law, in assisting employees in other countries in Africa, I have not heard of any restriction on doing so. I have assisted employees in other African countries where labor laws are considerably different than they are in the U.S. However, I have never heard of any restriction on an employer or an employee using an employee I.D. previously issued to the same employee. 

Moutaz, though many people from Africa visit and read my blog, you are the first person from Sudan to send in a question for answering. Thank you for doing so. I hope you will tell other Sudanese of our blog, and how it can be helpful to them.     

Al Sklover

Repairing the World –
One Empowered and Productive Employee at a Time™

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© 2011 Alan L. Sklover, All Rights Reserved.

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