Guidance for staff

A National Insurance (NI) NI number is a personal number issued by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and is used:

a) To record a person’s NI contributions and credited contributions; passport and NI card
b) As a reference number for the whole social security system.

NI contributions are deducted automatically from your earnings, unless you are exempt from making contributions.

New staff

You should supply your NI number as soon as possible after commencement of employment.  Failure to do so may result in salary payments being temporarily suspended until the College is in receipt of this information. 

If you are from overseas and have not previously obtained an NI number you are legally obliged to apply for this number and to register for NI purposes on commencing employment with the College, unless you are exempt from doing so (see below).

When applying for an NI number two routes are available, which route you use will depend on your specific circumstances.


Applying for an NI number

Fast Path service

The Department of Works and Pensions (DWP) Fast Path service is available to the following:

  • Employees holding a Tier 1 (Highly Skilled individuals contributing to growth and productivity) or Tier 2 (Skilled workers filling gaps in the UK labour force) Business and Commercial Work Permit.
  • European Union Nationals in equivalent jobs to the Work Permit Business and Commercial Tier 1 and 2 sectors.

Please note:

  • When using the Fast Path Service, you will be asked to forward copies of various documents with your application, please include a copy of your 30 day vignette visa as evidence that your visa/resident permit application was applied for from outside the UK.
  • Where visa/resident permits have been issued within the UK, the Fast Path Service team have no record of this on their system and so the Evidence of Eligibility Interview route would have to be used.

If you are eligible to use the Fast Path service, your local HR representative will provide you with an application form and information on how to proceed with the application.

Eligibility interview

If you do not meet the criteria for the Fast Path service, you will need to telephone the Jobcentre plus NI allocation service helpline on 0345 600 0643 to commence the application process. 

You may need to attendan evidence of eligibility interview to obtain an NI number and you will have to provide proof of identity.  Further information about using this route, along with a list of documents you will be asked to take to your interview, can be found on the Gov.UK website.

If you are uncertain as to whether you meet the above criteria, contact the DWP for clarification:

Fast Path Internet Enquiries, CCU Admin Team, 5th Floor, Portcullis House, 21 India Street, Glasgow G2 4PH
Telephone: 0835 641 5047 / 5048 / 5049
Fax: 0835 641 5037

When you don't need to pay

You don’t need to pay National Insurance or get a number if you have either:

  • Portable Document A1, E101 or E102 that proves you pay National Insurance in another European Economic Area (EEA) country
  • a certificate from a country that has a bilateral agreement on social security with the UK

Ask the social security authority in your country for the document or certificate.  

A successful application means that you can continue paying National Insurance Contributions (NICs) in your home country and do not also have to pay NICs in the UK.

If you do not hold the A1 (or E101) certificate you will be required to register for an NI number and pay NI contributions on the same basis as an individual who normally lives and works in the UK.

Further information is available from the UK Government's website.

Further information

Details of how to obtain a National Insurance number can be obtained from the Department for Work and Pensions.

Further information on National Insurance for individuals coming to the UK can be obtained from HM Revenue and Customs.