The National Insurance Number (NINO) is an integral part of the CJRS reclaim process. This is so that HMRC can see that a claim is being made for an employee that exists in their system.
If the NINO does not exist on a reclaim for an employee then the claim may be rejected. I am aware that the Employment and Payroll Group (EPG) have raised the issue of what happens when an employer does not have the employee’s NINO, and I thought it would be useful to share the response they received.
HMRC issued the following correspondence to the EPG in response to their query:
“Dear EPG Members,
We understand that there have been some questions regarding National Insurance numbers and the Job Retention Scheme and therefore hope the below is a helpful update.
When making a claim to the Job Retention Scheme, employers are asked to provide a National Insurance number (NINO) for each employee that they have furloughed. We are aware that in some limited circumstances an employer may not have a NINO for all employees.
Employee has a NINO but employer doesn’t know it
Where an employee has a NINO, but the employer does not know it they should make all reasonable efforts to establish it, including by making use of the RTI NINO Verification Request submission if appropriate.
Employee does not have a NINO
Where an employer has fewer than 100 furloughed employees but has one or more without a NINO they should contact the COVID-19 Helpline on 0800 024 1222 who can process their claim over the phone.
Where an employer has 100 or more furloughed employees, they must instead provide a payroll or employee reference number for any employee without NINO in their file upload.
Any further queries please get in touch.
Colin M Shingler | Head of Customer Engagement Team & Cross-Cutting Projects| Customer Insight & Design Directorate| HMRC
If you don’t have it, try and find it
This may be easier said than done in the current environment. There will be things like the Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) that contains this information, however, it is likely that this is held at the office rather than home. However, if there is a way for employers to check, this should be the first option.