Payroll: need to know (Latest version)

Introduced in tax year 2015-16, category M means that employers will pay reduced employer Class 1 secondary NI contributions for the employees that the category is applied to.

To ensure that the category is being applied correctly, HMRC started using Generic Notification Service (GNS) messages from April 2021, to advise employers where data seemed to imply that they may have incorrectly applied category M to one or more of their payroll records. It is hoped that the GNS messages will prompt employers to carry out additional checks and make corrections as and where required.

At the point that an employee turns 21, NI category M can no longer be applied to their record. A new NI contribution category will need to be assigned, and what that will be will depend on the status of the employee.

This was confirmed in the April 2021 Employer Bulletin.

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National Minimum Wage / National Living Wage

National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage calculator 8 April 2021

The National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW) calculator, that employers can use to ensure that they are paying workers either the correct NLW or NMW rate (whichever is applicable) and also to check whether they owe employees payments from the previous year due to underpayment, has been updated to reflect the change to rates applicable from 1 April 2021.

As a reminder, the rates for use from 1 April 2021 are as follows:

23 +



Under 18 Apprentice






April 2021

The accommodation offset has also increased as follows:

Daily accommodation offset rate

Weekly accommodation offset rate



April 2021 (current rate)

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The Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals

Payroll: need to know

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