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HMRC internal manual

National Insurance Manual

Employment Allowance: care and support workers

National Insurance Contributions Act 2014 - Section 2, subsection (3A).

The Employment Allowance (Care and Support Workers) Regulations 2015.

Care and support workers

If a person incurs a secondary Class 1 NICs liability because they employ someone for purposes connected with their own (or someone else’s) personal, family or household affairs and all of the employment duties performed by the person employed are undertaken exclusively for an individual who needs those duties performed because of their:

(a) old age, or

(b) mental or physical disability, or

(c) past or present dependence on alcohol or drugs, or

(d) past or present illness, or

(e) past or present mental disorder,

then the employing person may claim the Employment Allowance against those secondary Class 1 NICs liabilities, for so long as the person receiving the care needs that care.

Whenever one more of conditions (a) to (e) above are satisfied, the employing person can claim the Employment Allowance in the following situations:

  • they receive a direct payment for care from the NHS or their local authority and they use this to employ a care and support worker - this type of care worker is sometimes known as a Personal Assistant
  • they employ a care and support worker and pay that person out of their own funds
  • they employ a care and support worker for themselves, a family member, or someone completely unrelated to them


If more than one care or support worker is employed, then the Employment Allowance must be claimed against the combined secondary Class 1 NICs liabilities arising for those employees, up until the annual amount of the allowance has been exhausted. The Employment Allowance is available as an allowance for an employer and not per staff member, so the employer may only reduce their secondary Class 1 NICs liabilities by up to the annual amount of that allowance, irrespective of how many persons they employ.

Duties of the care or support worker

The duties of the care worker can be anything from providing personal care to general assistance around the house with cooking, cleaning and laundry, or helping out with financial administration.

The care duties can be provided anywhere, they do not have to be provided at the home of the person receiving the care. The carer can therefore assist the person receiving the care at their place of work, or accompany them at day-care or other appointments.

The care worker does not have to reside with the person receiving the care in order for the employing person to have a valid claim to the Employment Allowance.

However, the Employment Allowance cannot be claimed by someone employing a nanny, unless the nanny is employed solely to care for an individual who needs care for one of the reasons contained at items (a) to (e) above.