A new National Insurance Contributions (NICs) holiday for employers who hire former members of Her Majesty (HM) armed forces came into force on 6 April 2021. This allows employers to apply a zero-rate of secondary Class 1 Employer NICs on the earnings of veterans during the first year of their civilian employment post-service. The zero-rate applies up to the Veterans Upper Secondary threshold (currently £50,270 per annum).
From 6 April 2022, employers can now claim this relief in real time by submitting Real Time Information (RTI) returns. Employers who used this relief in 2021-22 can claim back the relief retrospectively for any qualifying employees who joined their company in the last 12 months.
Employers can claim this relief for the 12-month period starting on the first day of the veteran’s first civilian employment after leaving the regular armed forces.
An employee qualifies as a veteran if they have either:
- served at least one day in the regular armed forces
- completed at least one day of basic training
The relief is available to a veteran who has started their first civilian job regardless of when they left the regular armed forces.
The Minister for Defence People and Veterans said:
‘Our veterans have made important contributions to keeping our country safe. The skills they gain during service are invaluable, and businesses can greatly benefit from their dedication. I encourage all businesses to consider hiring veterans and supporting their journey to civilian life after service.’