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HMRC internal manual

National Insurance Manual

Class 1 structural overview: liability for payment

Generally, the employer is liable to pay his own and his employee’s contributions in the first instance and may recover the amount of the primary contributions from the employees’ earnings (with the exception of certain types of securities see NIM06813. An employee will become liable to pay his own primary contributions where -

  • they have deferred part of their primary Class 1 liability to avoid paying more than the prescribed annual maximum (see NIM01009) and their earnings did not actually reach the maximum (see NIM01020 for further information on deferment prior to 6 April 2003 and NIM01180 for information on deferment from 6 April 2003 ), or
  • the contribution was not paid owing to an act or default of the employee and there was no negligence by the employer (see NIM01022), or
  • the earner knows that the employer has wilfully failed to pay the primary contribution which the employer was liable to pay on their and has not recovered that primary contribution from them,or
  • the employer is exempt from the provisions of SSCBA 1992, for example, they have no place of business in Great Britain and are not willing to make voluntary payment (see NIM33000).