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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Operational Guidance

Supporting Guidance: employer compliance: guidance by subject: Employment Status & Intermediaries (ES&I): dispensations - recording information - pre 6 April 2016

This page only applies prior to 6 April 2016

Dispensation applications, dispensation notifications and other related correspondence should be retained for a period of 6 years.

Registered File

The Employment Status & Intermediaries (ES&I), LB Dispensation/PSA Team (DPT) and PT International should each maintain a Registered File for all dispensations given and record the following information as a minimum:

  • reference of applicant
  • name of applicant
  • date dispensation granted
  • whether granted in whole or in part
  • date of refusal.
  • the number of employees where the information is available.

For recording purposes:

  • treat the application as a single application where it is made in respect of more than one type of expense
  • count it as a dispensation given if any of the expense are included in a dispensation
  • treat it as a fresh application if the employer subsequently reapplies in respect of any types of expenses for which refusal was given.

Dispensation Control Sheet

A control sheet for recording the various stages of working the dispensation from application to issue should be completed and retained with the papers for all cases.


All dispensations must be recorded on ECS and it is important that ECS is updated at every stage. The flowcharts contained within this chapter provide guidance on when and how to update ECS. More guidance can be found in the Employer Compliance System Manual (ECSM).


Dispensation information must be recorded in the Employer Business Service (EBS) system employer notes screen. The following information must be recorded:

  • the date dispensation issued
  • the date dispensation was effective from
  • the revoked or rejected date
  • the location of the LB Specialist Team, Employment Status & Intermediaries (ES&I) or PT International Unit who handled the application

Shared Workspace

Where a shared workspace exists for the business a copy of the dispensation should be posted in the ‘employer’ file.


LB will record details of dispensations on:

  • ECS
  • LB Core System
  • EBS