The importance of National Insurance numbers for claims under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

07 August 2020

HMRC has issued a reminder that National Insurance (NI) numbers must be provided for all employees as a standard part of  Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) claims. There are only exceptions where an employee genuinely does not have an NI number. The example provided is where an employee is under the age of 16 years old. Employers can check employee NI numbers by using the Check a National Insurance Number using basic PAYE Tools’ facility.

HMRC has confirmed that it can no longer accept claims for less than 100 employees where not all NI numbers are available, unless the employees being claimed for genuinely do not have one.

This is particularly relevant as HMRC has explained that, in order to access the Job Retention Bonus, businesses need to ensure that all CJRS claims are correct, and that all payroll records are up to date. 

HMRC has also reminded businesses that, from 1 August 2020, the CJRS still provides grants to furloughed employees but employers now have the responsibility for paying employer NI and pension contributions, on both hours worked by employees and now also on hours they spend on furlough.


The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication. For all the latest information, news and resources on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting payroll professions, visit our Coronavirus hub.