22 November 2023

Not to be confused with the upcoming NIC cuts for employees, there were several extensions to existing employer NICs reliefs announced. 

Employers of veterans 

The relief granted to employers of eligible veterans has been extended for one year from April 2024. Employers of those veterans will pay no employer NICs on earnings up to £50,270 for the first year a veteran is employed in a civilian role.  

Investment zone employers 

It was recently confirmed that the investment zones programme in England would be extended from a period of five years to ten years. Government funding and tax reliefs will be doubled to £160 million.  

As a reminder, it will be possible to apply a zero-secondary rate of employer NICs for such employees’ earnings above the secondary threshold (£9,100 per annum) up to and including an upper secondary threshold (£25,000 per annum) equivalent to the freeport upper secondary threshold, where the conditions to claim the relief are met. The balance of earnings above this upper secondary threshold will be charged at 13.8%. However, the calculation of primary class 1 NICs is unaffected. 

Freeport employers 

Freeport tax reliefs will now be available until September 2031 in English freeports, as the period in which to claim these reliefs has been extended from five to ten years. This provides employers with physical premises in a freeport tax site with a zero rate of secondary class 1 NICs on the earnings of new employees, who spend 60% or more of their working time within freeport tax site. This rate can be applied on the earnings of all new hires up to £25,000 per annum from April 2022 for 36 months per employee. 

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