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Error: 'Email already taken' when adding an employee
Error: 'Email already taken' when adding an employee

What to do when told an employee's email address is taken when adding an employee in Sage HR manually.

Oliver Cook avatar
Written by Oliver Cook
Updated over a week ago

When you try to add an employee manually in Sage HR, you may get the following error:

'Email already taken, if you think this has happened by mistake please contact support.'

This error occurs if the employee's email address already exists within a Sage HR company. This could be within your own company or if the employee uses this email address for another company that also uses Sage HR.

Below are your options for what to do if you get this error.

📎NOTE: (UK Only) - 'Email already taken' is not the same error as 'This email address is already in use'. That is a different error when uploading a payslip from Sage 50 Payroll. To resolve that error follow the steps in our Sage 50 Payroll guide.

Check if the email exists in another profile

Check that the employee's email address isn't used within another existing employee profile.

It is common for users to see this error when they try to add an employee manually that already exists in the company. Alternatively, you're trying to add a previously terminated employee.

📌TIP: As well as your company directory, check your terminated employee report too. Do you see the email is used by a terminated employee? You must delete that employee before you can add them manually with that email address again.


Upload a payslip (Sage 50 Payroll UK integration only)

📎NOTE: This is only possible if your Sage HR company is integrated with Sage 50 Payroll (UK only). If it's not, you must use one of the other resolutions below.

You can resolve this error by adding the employee by uploading a payslip instead of adding them manually.

This bypasses the 'Email already taken' error, and creates a Sage HR profile for them.

📌TIP: If the employee doesn't have a payslip yet to upload, you have two options:

  • Wait until they do have a payslip

  • Upload a 'dummy payslip' - EXAMPLE: You upload a payslip with a value of 1p to import your employee from Sage 50 Payroll into Sage HR Online Services. Your employee is added to Sage HR Online Services. You then delete the 'dummy' payslip.


Request a company link

If the email address is taken by one of your sister companies that also uses Sage HR, you can request a company link. This links your companies together and allows you to use the same email address for employees in both companies.

How do I request a company link?

An admin user for both companies must contact Sage HR support, pass security questions, and request the company link. Once linked, you won't get the 'Email already taken' message unless the email is in use within a different company. For example, an employee's ex-employer.

📎NOTE: If the email address is used for another company not associated with your own, then a company link won't resolve this error message for you, and you must use the resolutions below.


Employee provides a different email address

If your employee has another email address, you can add the employee using that email.


Employee contacts their previous employer

Your employee can contact their previous employer and ask them to delete their previous profile. After they're deleted, you can then use this email address to add them.

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