As discussed in our Blog “Brexit and National Insurance – rules from 1 January 2021”, A1 certificates continue to be obtained for posted workers so that UK resident employees and employers can remain within the UK National Insurance system and exempt from local social security contributions whilst working in countries within the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. Following the UK’s exit from the EU, although the new agreement in this respect is almost a direct replica of the previous regulations, the application process for obtaining such coverage has seen some changes.
As part of the A1 process, additional questions have been included in HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) application form. It would seem HMRC are trying to identify any connections that UK employees have to any of the above-mentioned countries, as well as getting a better understanding of the employee’s history of working, and/or living, overseas.
HMRC’s guidance as to how to complete these additional questions does not provide much detail with regard to the periods/years to cover and it is hoped that further clarity and updated guidance will be released to assist with the application process. It is understandable that employees may be reluctant to share some of the information without a better understanding of why it is required. Meantime, a practical approach should be taken to ensure that the appropriate A1 form is issued by HMRC and coverage is provided for these employees, and employers, when posted overseas.