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HMRC internal manual

PAYE Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
, see all updates

Employment maintenance: maintain employment: customer query and gaps in employment history

When an employee starts or leaves employment with a non RTI employer, details of the changes are recorded on form P45. The appropriate parts of the P45 are sent to the Processing Office by both the new and old employer either on paper or online. The information from the appropriate parts of the P45 is recorded on the PAYE Service using the DATA CAPTURE screen. RTI employers notify commencements and cessations on their Full Payment Submission (FPS) but still provide leavers with a P45 to hand to a new employer.

Where this process is followed correctly

  • A complete record of changes applied to the Individuals employment history is maintained and this information is available for you to view using the EMPLOYMENT SUMMARY screen
  • The individual has the correct amount of tax deducted by the operation of a cumulative code

There are occasions when this process breaks down and there is no P45 available. In these circumstances the new employer

  • Notifies the Processing Office about the new or changed employment using form P46

And usually

  • Operates an emergency code on a Week 1 or month 1 basis

Where this happens and there is a gap of 10 weeks or more between CY employments it will not be possible to restore a cumulative code.

Note: The Benefit Claims Summary screen will give details of the start date of a claim for JSA and any other benefit claims for the year. However this is a view only version of the former NIRS screen (used by NICs for National Insurance process). It will not provide the end date of the claim. The screen may provide some limited help in reviewing earlier years, but for later years the Employment menu should be checked for details of JSA claims.


Individual request coding review - gaps in employment

If the individual contacts HMRC to request a review of their CY tax code you will need to ask them to provide employment history details for any gap(s) in employment of more than 10 weeks.

To do this, you will need to

  • Review the previous employment details held on record to determine what information is required
  • Ask the individual to provide details of their employment history for all gaps in employment over 10 weeks either

    • During the telephone call
    • During the face to face enquiry
    • Requesting the individual to send in a letter
  • Ask the individual to send in P45 Parts 1A, 2 and 3 for periods of employment where P45 Part 1 leaving details are not held

If the individual is unable to send in P45 Parts 1A, 2 and 3 for any previous periods of employment, obtain the pay and tax details by

  • Telephoning the employer

Or, if it is not possible to telephone the employer

  • Issue a P43 (SEES)

This request should be at the time of the initial enquiry.

If the individual is going to provide the information by letter update CONTACT HISTORY to show

  • The gap in employment history that the individual is going to provide a letter for
  • Missing P45 details they are to provide
  • Do not BF for receipt of the letter as the onus is on the individual to reply

Note: When you ask the individual to send a letter you must explain what information is required so their code can be reviewed.

Individual unable to provide information - P91 or P43 (SEES) required

If it has not been possible for the individual to provide information of their employment history as detailed above, a P91 should be issued via OCA and contact history should be updated to show

  • The dates entered on the form from DD/MM/YY to DD/MM/YY, to fill the gap in employment history, and the date the P91 was issued
  • Do not BF for return of P91 as the onus is on the individual to reply

On receipt of this information you will need to

  • View the EMPLOYMENT SUMMARY screen
  • Use the INSERT EMPLOYMENT DETAILS screen and EMPLOYMENT DETAILS screen to update the individual’s record to

    • Correct or change employment details


    • Insert or delete employment details

If P43 (SEES) are issued

  • Write to the individual to advise them that you have requested the P45 Part 1 from the employer
  • Update the CONTACT HISTORY screen to show the date the letter(s) were issued and the PAYE reference P43 (SEES) issued to

On receipt of this information you will need to

  • Capture the P45 Part 1 information through the INITIAL DATA CAPTURE screens

Note: This information must not be entered onto the EMPLOYMENT SUMMARY screen using the INSERT EMPLOYMENT DETAILS screen.

When the individual’s record has been updated

  • Notify the new employer of the correct code to be operated and any previous pay and tax details so that the correct operation of PAYE can be resumed

To conform to legislation, HMRC must ensure that computers are not being used unless there is a legitimate business need. This applies equally to viewing records as it does to updating them. An audit trail is created each time a user accesses a record and any unauthorised or inappropriate accesses will be considered for action under the Department’s Conduct and Discipline rules, and may also constitute a criminal offence.