An annual employment allowance for businesses and charities, to offset against their employer's Class 1 NICs, was introduced in April 2014. The allowance can be claimed as part of the normal payroll process through RTI using an employer’s payroll software or HMRC’s Basic PAYE Tools.
The maximum amount available is currently £3,000 per year. For example, if an employer’s Class 1 NICs are £1,200 each month, in April and May the employment allowance used will be for the full amount and in June the remaining £600 would be used.
There are a number of excluded employers who cannot claim the employment allowance. For example, persons employed for personal, household or domestic work, such as a nanny or au pair and employment that is either wholly or mainly of a public nature. No allowance is available for deemed payments of employment income. In April 2016 the eligibility to claim the employment allowance was also removed from limited companies with a single director and no other employees.