All employees should have a National Insurance Number (NINO) & give it to their employer although it is not a legal requirement to obtain work without one. The NINO ensures the National Insurance Contributions and Tax are recorded against the correct named employee when submitted to HMRC.

However HMRC no longer allow employers to create a temporary number until the correct one is provided - this is now an outdated practice.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 field should be left blank in the employee's record & therefore in the RTI submissions to HMRC. The employer should always encourage the employee to supply one as soon as possible.

With the introduction of Auto Enrolment Pensions (also known as AE or Workplace Pensions) it has never been more vital to obtain the NINO from employees as early as possible. Some Pension Providers may completely reject a pension submission for an employee having no NINO whereas some will accept the employee but as they have not provided their NINO will treat the employee as a foreign worker and will not give them tax relief on any contributions paid into the scheme.

If your employee has lost their NINO:


Employees can usually locate their NINO by:

  • Locating payslips from a previous employer.
  • Locating P60s previously provided to them.
  • In letters & documents they have received in relation to Pensions, Benefits, Tax or National Insurance.

If an employee is unable to locate their NINO by any of these methods they should be prompted to ring the National Insurance Number helpline urgently on: 0300 200 3500 and answer a few security questions to request their NINO.  NINOs will never be confirmed over the telephone and will be usually be posted to arrive at your employee's 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 (NINO) 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 they will need to call the National Insurance Number application line 0345 600 0643

Here is the relevant link to the Government website: 

Please remind your employees that once they have their NINO it is in their best interest to provide this to you as soon as possible, this should then be added to their EnrolPay record (Employees > Payroll > Pay Details) and this will update the payroll records & also their HMRC records when the next RTI Submission is done.