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HMRC internal manual

National Insurance Manual

Special cases: Volunteer Development Workers: Background

In June 1985, the European Communities Council recommended that Member States takesteps to:

  • encourage young people to take part in projects organised by the Community beyond its borders;
  • support the creation of national committees of European volunteers for development;
  • bring together young Europeans who wish to work on projects in developing countries;
  • remove obstacles to taking up employment as a volunteer development worker;
  • take the necessary measures to achieve social protection for volunteer development workers and their families.

In response, the Government introduced, with effect from 6 April 1986, legislation tomeet this recommendation. The legislation was contained in the Social Security(Contributions) Amendment Regulations 1986 and amended the Social Security (Contributions)Regulations 1979 (now the Social Security (Contributions) Regulations 2001 – see IRNewsboard Message 227/01).

Details of the legislation is set out as follows:

  • what a volunteer development worker is - NIM34005
  • meaning of “ordinarily resident” – NIM33031, NIM33032 and NIM34010
  • approved organisations - NIM34015
  • recognised developing countries - NIM34020
  • when a volunteer development worker is regarded as self-employed – NIM34025
  • entitlement to pay the special rate of Class 2 NIC – NIM34030
  • specific provisions relating to:


  • residence and presence
  • the rate of NIC and benefit/pension entitlement
  • annual maximum amount of NICs payable
  • method and time for payment
  • late paid NICs and higher rate provisions,

see NIM34035 onwards.