Can I work without a National Insurance Number?

While in most cases it is imperative to have a National Insurance Number if you are looking to work in the UK, in some cases you may be allowed to start work while you are not in receipt of one. This can be for a variety of different reasons – mainly, that you are still waiting for your National Insurance Number to be issued, or perhaps because you have lost yours at the moment and are waiting for confirmation of what it actually is through the post. There are official government guidelines on this, of which we’ve repeated below – however, you can find the full document on the Gov UK website here: https://www.gov.uk/prove-right-to-work

Under what circumstances can I work without a National Insurance Number?

While there is some leeway, the guidelines are fairly clear on what circumstances dictate if you can or cannot work without a National Insurance Number. The UK Government website will ask you a series of questions that will determine and advise whether you can or cannot work without a National Insurance Number. It seems to be generally expected that you will have at least applied for a National Insurance Number before you attempt to start work. These questions are, quite broadly:

Do you have status under the EU Settlement Scheme? (Yes or No)

What identity document did you use in your application? Passport, National Identity Card, or Biometric Residence Card (BRC)

It will then ask you for details relating to this document, usually the relevant identifying number and/or your date of birth.

It should then be able to better advise on your circumstance

If you do not have any of these details, or if they are not appearing correctly on the system, the service will advise you to fill out an enquiry form to try get to the bottom of things – this can be found here: https://eu-settled-status-enquiries.service.gov.uk/start

You can fill out the questionnaire to see if you do have the right to work in the UK without having your National Insurance Number here: https://right-to-work.service.gov.uk/prove/id-question

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