HMRC provides further clarity in relation to National Insurance numbers and furloughed employees

23 April 2020

Many payroll professionals have raised questions relating to what happens in the scenario 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 employers to provide the NI numbers for furloughed employees they are submitting a claim for, and HMRC’s Customer Engagement Team has confirmed the process for claimants when one or more furloughed employees do not have NI numbers.

Employees may not have an NI number if they are under the age of 16 or if they are a non-UK national. Ordinarily, individuals can apply for an NI number, but cannot at present, due to the coronavirus outbreak. 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.


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.