The UK government has said that suspending parts of the National Insurance number application process was necessary so that it could redeploy staff to process benefit claims during the pandemic.
The government has stated that applicants who do not require a visa to work in the UK, such as British passport holders or EU citizens, normally require a face-to-face meeting for the right to work and ID checks, however due to the pandemic, these meetings have not been possible.
A spokesperson for the Department of Work and Pensions said, “Individuals can start work without a National Insurance number if they have the right to work in the UK and we are working on a solution to reopen the service soon.”
Despite this, EU citizens’ rights group, the3million, claim that not every employer knows people still have the right to work without a National Insurance number, meaning many are having trouble getting a job, opening a bank account, enrolling in college and paying tax.
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