With many payroll professionals raising questions regarding furloughed employees who do not have a National Insurance number, HMRC have now provided clarity around this.

Questions have been raised about what happens where a furloughed employee does not have a National Insurance (NI) number, but their employer wishes to make a claim for them under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

The online claim portal requires the employing company to provide the NI numbers for any furloughed workers they are submitting a claim for, and HMRC’s Customer Engagement Team has now confirmed the process for claimants when one or more furloughed employees do not have NI numbers.

There are a few circumstances under which an employee may not have an NI number, so for example if they are under the age of 16 or if they are a non-UK national. Under normal circumstances, individuals would be able to apply for an NI number, but they are unable to do so at present. Individuals who have a biometric residence permit (BRP) may already have an NI number, which will be printed on the back of their BRP if applicable.

Employee has an NI number, but the employer does not know it

If an employee has an NI number but the employer does not know what it is, the employer should make attempts to find out what that number is by using the Real Time Information (RTI) NI number Verification Request submission if appropriate.

Employee does not have an NI number

If an employer has less than 100 furloughed staff, but one or more of them does not have an NI number, they should contact the COVID-19 Helpline on 0800 024 1222, and their claim can be processed over the phone.

Employers with 100 or more furloughed employees should provide a payroll or employee reference number for any employee without an NI number within the file that they upload to the portal.

To keep up to date on the latest news about how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting business and payroll then check out our news section or sign up for our email newsletter.

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