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HMRC internal manual

National Insurance Manual

Earnings periods: directions issued in accordance with regulation 30, SS(C)R 2001: general

If a pay practice is abnormal for the employment, the Department may direct that contributions be assessed as if the pay practice was normal for that employment. To do this, the Department issues a direction in accordance with regulation 30 of the Social Security (Contributions) Regulations 2001. This direction can be applied retrospectively, but not before the beginning of the previous tax year.

In this context, ‘abnormal for the employment’ relates not to the employment of particular individuals, but to the type of employment concerned. Given the range of potential pay practices for any particular employment, it is very difficult to prove that one is ‘abnormal’. As a result, directions issued under Regulation 30 are very rare.

The main purpose of Regulation 30 is, therefore, to deter pay practices which are deliberately adopted to avoid NICs. Most pay practices avoid or reduce liability because of unequal or irregular payments. These can be addressed by issuing a direction under regulation 31 (see NIM09650 et seq.).

The IPD Technical Team in Newcastle should always see cases which involve an unusual pay practice for the type of employment. If you come across such a case, send a full submission as set out in Seeking Guidance pages on intranet. This submission should be sent to the IPD Technical Team in Newcastle.