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HMRC internal manual

PAYE Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
, see all updates

Employment maintenance: jobseeker’s allowance: periods of jobseeker’s allowance

This subject is presented as follows



Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) is paid by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) except in Northern Ireland where it is the responsibility of the Department for Social Development.

Claims are made at local Benefit Offices but benefit payments are calculated and made by the DWP computer.

DWP operates a modified form of PAYE. The main difference between this and what employers do is that tax is not deducted from benefit when it is paid.

Any liability to tax is calculated either

  • When the JSA claim ends


  • At the end of the tax year. For more information see PAYE78000 onwards

The Employment Maintenance forms and procedures for dealing with periods of Jobseeker’s Allowance are similar to those for employments, except that the individual’s record is updated automatically with starting and leaving details.

JSA claims are dealt with under the old employer reference and are classed as live records for all purposes.

Computer action

The DWP computer known as JSAPS (Jobseeker’s Allowance Payment System) is linked to the HMRC computer. JSAPS automatically updates Jobseeker’s Allowance details on the individual’s record. This online data is sent via a HMRC computer gateway, which on a daily basis

  • Locates the main employment record from the National Tracing System (NTS)
  • Records changes in commencement and cessation of Jobseeker’s Allowance and the information associated with such claims
  • Notifies changes to Jobseeker’s Allowance information, previously supplied on forms

    • P180
    • P185
    • P188

Rejected P6U information

JSAPS also handles changes to individual circumstances notified to the Benefit Office on form P6U. Where the Benefit Office cannot take the necessary action on the P6U, the JSAPS computer will return data as rejected P6U information.

If the P6U is returned as the claim has closed or the claimant is a ‘quarterly attender’, the employment record will be automatically updated to show JSA has potentially ceased.

If the P6U is returned as they cannot match the code to the claim, the employment record will be automatically deleted.

If the P6U is returned as the claim does not match the benefit office claim date, the employment record will automatically be updated to agree with the date of claim recorded on the P6U.

Special cases or short term payments

Jobseeker’s Allowance may be paid for odd days between periods of work in certain employments, such as

  • Employment Agency Workers
  • Part time workers Supply teachers
  • Some dock workers

As the employer does not issue form P45 Part 1, there are no Parts 2 or 3 for the claimant to hand to the Benefit Office.

The employment record is automatically updated from the P45(3) (Subs).

For more information on these see PAYE78000 onwards.