National Insurance Number delays
The October 2020 HMRC bulletin provides additional guidance on National Insurance requirements.Due to COVID-19, the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) is only able to offer a National Insurance Number (NINO) service to a limited number of applicants.
In order to allocate a NINO for employment purposes DWP has a legal requirement to confirm that the applicant has the right to work in the UK and their identity. At present it is only possible to accept applications from those who were granted permission to work in the UK by the Home Office prior to them coming to the UK. This is possible because DWP can validate these applications with the Home Office.
For all other applicants (UK/EU/EEA/citizens) who have not interacted with the Home Office, their identity and right to work is, under normal circumstances, confirmed by DWP at a face to face interview. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the face to face service is suspended temporarily. DWP is developing a digital solution in order to reintroduce the process incrementally.
HMRC want employees to provide the NINO as soon as possible to make sure their National Insurance records are correct, however, employers can employ someone with the legal right to work before they get their NINO. Employers are asked to make sure the RTI FPD submission includes as much other personal details as possible.
For people who have a NINO but cannot remember it, they can get confirmation by using either their Personal Tax Account, where they can save or print a copy of a NINO confirmation letter, or the HMRC App where they can share their “my details” page.
National Insurance number is not evidence of right to work in the United Kingdom.
For those who can show they have a legal right, there is no requirement to have obtained a National Insurance number to commence work.
PAYadvice.UK 14/10/2020 updated 21/10/2020