20 October 2023

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has released research into the use of employer National Insurance (NI) contribution relief for employees under 21 and apprentices under 25.

The aims were to identify if the reliefs have an impact on hiring practices for young people, however we can take some interesting data away from the results as payroll professionals.

The review found that:

  • those that operate an inhouse payroll were more likely to be aware they were claiming the relief
  • payroll software and tax agents are the main reason an employer would be unaware they were claiming the relief
  • 57% of respondents believe the relief has no direct impact on the business
  • 34% said it led to increased salaries for apprentices
  • 29% said they would be more likely to hire young people if the relief was instead delivered via a grant or lump sum.

If you are using an outsourced payroll provider, it may be worth checking that the reliefs are being claimed, as many who operate this way were not aware of what was being done for them.

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