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Durham University

Careers & Enterprise Centre

Employment Information

National Insurance Numbers

It is essential that you have a National Insurance Number when working in the UK.

The National Insurance Number is made up of a series of letters and numbers and is unique to you. It makes sure your National Insurance contributions and tax are only recorded against your name. You pay National Insurance contributions to build up your entitlement to certain state benefits, including the State Pension.

To get a National Insurance Number you must have the right to work or study in the UK.

You pay National Insurance if you are:

-16 or over

-an employee earning above £162 a week (you still need a National Insurance Number even if you are not earning over this threshold)

For more information and to apply for a National Insurance Number visit the Gov.UK website.

National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage

Employers must pay their workers a minimum amount as defined by law. This is called the National Minimum Wage for those aged under 25, and the National Living Wage for those aged 25 and above.

If you think that you are not being paid the National Minimum Wage or the National Living Wage please contact the Student Employment Service for advice.

National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates as of 1 April 2019:

Age 25 and over Age 21-24 Age 18-20 Under 18 Apprentice*
£8.21 £7.70 £6.15 £4.35 £3.90

*This rate is for apprentices under 19 or those in their first year. If you’re 19 or over and past your first year you get the rate that applies to your age.

Further information

More information on the National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage is available on the Direct Gov website.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) Pay and Work Rights Helpline gives confidential help and advice on employment issues such as the minimum wage.

Call the helpline on 0800 917 2368 or 0800 121 4042 (textphone for people who are hard of hearing or have speech difficulties).

Lines are open Monday to Friday 8am- 8pm and Saturday 9am-1pm.