How to calculate employers NI

UK National Insurance is a tax based on the amount you pay your employees. National Insurance Contributions (NICs) go into a state pot to fund state benefits and public sector activities.

Employed and self-employed people and employers are all required to pay National Insurance payments (NICs). After expenses are deducted, the amount you pay as a worker is calculated using your gross employee earnings or self-employed profits.

With a national insurance calculator, you may calculate an employee’s National Insurance contribution.

What are National Insurance Contributions?

National insurance contributions (NICs) are not technically a tax. NICs were first implemented in 1911 to offer a safety net for workers who fell ill or were unemployed, hence the name. With the creation of the welfare state in 1948, the scheme expanded dramatically to cover pensions and other benefits.

NICs are collected by HMRC primarily through Pay As You Earn (PAYE) taxation, which is deducted at the same time as income tax. NICs continue to provide about a fifth of income to the exchequer each year, even though they are not a tax.

NICs have continuously operated on a contributory basis, with the premise that workers get back what they put in when needed.

The original principle has been diluted, leading to a complex system of bands and tiers, with workers being forced to make minimum payments to qualify for specific benefits.

HMRC collects employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) from both employers and employees; therefore, limited company contractors who pay NICs will notice deductions from their salary and have to make payments from their companies.

How are employee contributions to national insurance calculated?

This may also include some expenses and benefits in kind paid by your firm for employees.


Class 1 NICs: If you work for a company, you must pay Class 1 NICs, deducted automatically through PAYE. Class 1 contributions are computed based on gross earnings (before tax and pension deductions) over the level for that year. They are paid on salary, commission, bonuses, overtime, sick pay, maternity and paternity pay.

Class 3 – These are payments made voluntarily by individuals. Who wants to keep their state pension entitlement but do not contribute enough through work or self-employment. They can also be paid by unemployed people or people who work in a different nation.

Class 3A – A new type of voluntary contribution was formed in October 2015. This one-time lump sum payment helps people who turned 65 on or before April 6, 2016, make the transition to the new single-tier state pension.

Company directors are classified as employees and must pay National Insurance on earnings over a certain amount from salaries and bonuses. Their contributions are dependent on their annual revenues.

HMRC provides contribution tables to your firm, then used to calculate NICs for employees. The amount due is determined by gross earnings between a specific upper and lower limit.


Self-employed people often pay two types of NI contributions: Class 2 and Class 4:

Class 2 — Those self-employed pay Class 2 payments on profits (earnings less allowable expenses) above a specific threshold. The majority of people include the donations in their self-assessment tax bill. The payment is only a few dollars every week.

Class 4 — When a self-employed person’s profits reach a specific amount, they must pay Class 4 contributions. Class 4 contributions are now 9% of taxable earnings within a particular threshold, reducing to 2% of profits above that threshold.

Another significant distinction between income tax and NICs is that a contractor’s employer must calculate and pay NICs directly to HMRC via PAYE, in addition to the employee’s income tax and NIC contributions. Employer NICs are what they’re called.

This does not affect the net compensation of contractors on an agency payroll or a fixed-term employment contract. Of course, their gross income will be lesser because their client employer will have budgeted for the cost of employment when creating the contractor’s role.

Finish up

According to Accounting group for the tax year 2021-22, those who have missed National Insurance contributions owing to unemployment, exemption, or any other cause can make Class 3 voluntary contributions at the maximum amount of £15.40 per week.

If you’re above 16 years old and earn or have self-employed profits over a specific amount, you’ll have to pay National Insurance contributions. This can help you qualify for benefits like the State Pension and Maternity Allowance.

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