When taking on a new employee it is important that they produce their National Insurance (NI) number, both for your records as an employer and to ensure that their employee and employer National Insurance contributions are allocated correctly to their HMRC record.

If your employee does not know if they have one or has forgotten their NI number then there are various ways for them to find it out.

Please note, we cannot help with finding your National Insurance Number. You should use the methods below to find out. 

Call the National Insurance Helpline

Contact the National Insurance Number Helpline which is 0300 200 3500. HMRC won’t be able to tell you your National Insurance number over the phone and therefore they’ll post it to you. As with the CA5403 forms, it could take up to 15 working days to arrive.

You as the employer can also verify any NI number you have on record by using the HMRC Basic PAYE Tool or your own payroll software by using the NVR facility. Find out more here.

Via the HMRC mobile app or personal tax account online

The quickest way for an employee to obtain this is via the HMRC mobile app or log on to their personal tax account (PTA) where they can view, print proof and share an image of their NI number. If an employee is accessing their personal tax account for the first time and they do not have their NI number, they will be asked to provide their full name and postcode, which must match HMRC’s records. To confirm their identity, they may also be asked to provide information from a P60, a recent payslip or a valid passport.

Look at previous payslips or P60’s

Ask your employee to check payslips or P60’s from a previous employer as these may contain their NI Number. They could also check any letters received regarding tax, pensions or benefits for Government departments.

Complete form CA5403

The employee could complete form number CA5403 online and get HMRC to post their NI number to their home address. Please note it can take up to 15 days to receive a NI number by post. https://www.gov.uk/lost-national-insurance-number 

What if an employee doesn’t have a National Insurance number yet?

An employee can start work before their National Insurance number arrives if they can prove that they can work in the UK. They must tell you as the employer that they have applied for one and give it to you once they have it. Employees can apply for their NI number online via the UK government website.

Please note that we cannot help you find your national insurance number. Please contact the National Insurance Helpline who will be able to advise you.

Information for readers: This material is published for the information of clients. It provides only an overview of the regulations in force at the date of publication, and no action should be taken without consulting the detailed legislation or seeking professional advice. Therefore no responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the material can be accepted by the authors or the firm.