Taking on a new employee? Make sure you collect accurate information.

HMRC have been concerned with some of the accuracy of data reported to them for new employees when commencing employment.To aid employers and improve the accuracy of information and pay, the HMRC have issued the following new guidance.

How to support your new employees to get the right pay faster – collecting personal details

There’s a lot to do when you take on a new employee, and HMRC want to help you and them get the right pay sorted.

They have published a help card which covers how to record your employees’ personal details accurately, including:

  • name – full and official forename(s) and surname
  • date of birth, and
  • National Insurance number.

Getting this right helps to make sure your employee is paid correctly – including paying the right tax and National Insurance contributions (NIC), which protects their entitlement to state benefits and the State Pension.

This is good for you too, as it means you’ll receive less questions from them and avoid what can become a time-consuming problem. You can find out more on how to tell HMRC about a new employee on GOV.UK.


  • Provide the full and official forename(s) of your employee, ensuring that these are in the correct order. Their name should match any ID and other documents, be spelled out in full rather than just initials, and include their middle name if they have one (e.g., John Michael Smith and not J M Smith).
  • If your employee has a double-barrelled forename, this should be entered in the forename box, and double-barrelled surnames entered in the surname box.
  • If they have a second forename, enter in full in the appropriate box. If your software only provides a single forename(s) field, enter it in full after their forename separated by a space (for example, John Michael). Only enter their titles (Dr, Miss etc.) in the title box.
  • Double check the name is spelt right, and don’t include any punctuation.

Date of birth

HMRC have been concerned with the number of incorrect dates of birth that are being sent to them by employers.

Provide the correct date of birth for your employee (if you enter a default or incorrect date it will delay the right pay). It can also result in misbalances on your employer dashboard when more accurate information is received at a later point in time.

Check that the date of birth is in the correct format. Enter the day, month and full year of birth (e.g., 05/05/1985).

If you’re not sure of their full name or date of birth, you can ask to check it against their:

  • passport
  • EU identity card
  • birth or marriage certificate
  • full UK driving licence (photo version)
  • Biometric Resident Permits.

National Insurance number

There are a number of new employee details being sent with made up or other individuals National insurance numbers that do not relate to the individual being reported. For example, the number of employee reported with NINO AA111111A runs into thousands.

Make sure you submit the correct National Insurance number, as entering a default or incorrect number will delay your employee getting the right pay.

If the employee doesn’t know their National Insurance number, ask them to use the HMRC app to find it. They can log in using their Government Gateway ID or create a new account. To access their National Insurance confirmation letter, they should select ‘your details’ in the app and the letter is available under ‘proof of your National Insurance number’.

The number can also be found on the employee’s:

  • paper National Insurance number notification letter (usually received before they turn 16)
  • National Insurance card (issued between 1975 and 2011)
  • documents from HMRC or Department for Work and Pensions that include a National Insurance number.

If they still can’t find their National Insurance number, it’s best to leave blank.

What does a National Insurance number look like?

Their National Insurance number will begin with two letters, followed by six numbers and will end with a letter which will be either A, B, C or D.

Numbers provided in different formats are not actual NINOs and should not be used. DO NOT use TN numbers with date of birth and gender F or M.

The HMRC employer help are can be found at:

PAYadvice.UK 23/7/2023

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