All employees should have a National Insurance number (NINO) although it is not a legal requirement to obtain work without one, this is to ensure their National Insurance contributions and tax are recorded against their name only. With the introduction of Auto Enrolment (AE) pensions, it has never been more vital to obtain a national insurance Number from your employees' as early as possible.

Some Pension providers may completely reject a pension submission for an employee having for having no national insurance number whereas some will accept the employee but as no NI number has been provided will treat the employee as a foreign worker and will not give them and tax relief on any contributions paid into the scheme.

HMRC no longer allow employers to create a temporary number until the correct one is provided, this is now an outdated practice, when a NINO has not been provided this should be left blank.

If your employee has lost their NINO:

Employees can usually locate their NINO by:

  • Locating payslips from a previous employer.
  • Locating P60's previously provided to them.
  • In letters they have received in relation to Pensions, Benefits or tax.

If an employee is unable to locate their NINO on any of these they should be prompted to ring the National Insurance numbers helpline urgently on: 0300 200 3500 and answer a few security questions to request their NINO. NINO's will never be confirmed over the telephone and will be usually be posted to arrive at your employees home address within 10 days. 

If your employee is unable to answer the security questions to the satisfaction of the agent on the phone they will be asked to complete an online CA5403 form which can be accessed via the below link to the HMRC website:

If your employee has never been provided with a NINO:

Everyone living in the UK should be sent a National Insurance number automatically just before their 16th birthday, if however, they didn’t get one they should be advised to do the following urgently:

  • If they are under 20 they should call the National Insurance number helpline on 0300 200 3500.
  • If they are 20 or older above they will need to call the National Insurance number application line 0345 600 0643

Please remind your employee that once they have their NINO it is in their best interest to provide this to you ASAP, this should then be added to their EnrolPay record (Employees > Payroll > Pay Details) and this will update HMRC and payroll records.