What is the National Insurance Number (NIN) and how to get it?

National Insurance Number

NIN – National Insurance Number

One of the things to prioritize when you arrive in the UK is to book an appointment to get the National Insurance Number (NIN). The NIN is a personal identification number which is assigned by the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) to manage your National Insurance contributions and taxes.

The NIN is made up of letters and numbers and never changes. In addition, the National Insurance Number does not have an expiry date.

You can find your NIN number:

  • In the payslips;
  • In your P60;
  • In letters related to your taxes, pension or allowances;
  • In the National Insurance section of your Personal Tax Account (PTA).


Who needs the National Insurance Number?

– The employee (employed);
– The Self-employed;
– The trainee or student who wants to pay the contributions of their job;
– The student who wants to apply for a loan to study;
Anyone who wants to apply for state benefits.

If you plan to work in the UK, you need the National Insurance Number as it is mandatory to work legally, in fact many companies ask for it even before examining you, together with the Curriculum Vitae.

Please note: To prevent identity fraud, keep your NIN number secure.

Who could ask for your National Insurance Number?

These organizations need to know what your NIN number is:

  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC);
  • Your employer;
  • The DWP – Department for Work and Pensions;
  • Your local council (municipality of residence), if you request housing subsidies;
  • Electoral Registration Officer (to verify your identity when you register to vote);
  • The Student Loan Company, if you apply for a student loan;
  • Authorized financial service providers who help you buy and sell investments such as stocks, bonds and derivatives: you can check whether your supplier is authorized.


You can apply for the National Insurance Number only from British soil. It is one of the first things to do as soon as you arrive in the UK if you are planning to work or apply for a student loan.

You can request the National Insurance Number by calling the Jobcentre on the phone.

BOOKING PHONE NUMBER 0800 141 2075 (only from UK)
NIN NOT RECEIVED PHONE NUMBER  0800 141 2079 (only from UK)

How to book the National Insurance Number appointment through Jobcenters

To make an appointment for the NIN you must call 0800 141 2075. In fact, it is not possible to make a reservation either online or by going directly to the Jobcentre.

Don’t worry if you are not an expert in English: the operators will guide you in kind and friendly way. Alternatively, you can request us to book an appointment for you.

You can call 0800 141 2075 only and exclusively from the United Kingdom. A virtual voice will invite you to select a key according to whether you want to book an appointment or to update the details of an appointment already booked.

During the interview, you will be asked why you need the NIN. You will also be told how long it will take to get the National Insurance Number.

Details requested:

  • First name
  • Surname
  • Date of birth
  • UK residential address
  • Arrival day in the UK
  • Nationality. You will be asked if you have one or more nationalities
  • English telephone number (get it here)

The operator will give you a reference number, the date of the appointment and the address of the Jobcenter to go to obtain the NIN. Finally, he will summarize the documents to bring and confirm that everything is clear. If you are not absolutely sure that you understand everything, do not hesitate to mention it.


What to bring to the appointment:

  • Proof of address. It could be the employment contract, the house contract or a utility bill on your behalf. In case you don’t have a job yet and live in a friend’s house – consequently you don’t have a rental contract – you can ask them for a declaration of your domicile at their house which you can print directly from here.
  • The reference number that was given to you over the phone.
  • An identity document: passport or national identity document.
  • Adoption or birth certificate (if you are not a European citizen).
  • If you don’t have a job yet, bring with you search tests, for example emails sent to classifieds sites (eg Gumtree). This will help you prove that you are actually looking for a job.

Please note: if you are a student or work as a nanny, there is a high probability that your application for NIN will be rejected. This is because you do not have a paid job, therefore you would not need a NIN.

Within 3/5 working days you will receive a confirmation letter from the Jobcentre at your home indicating the time and date of the appointment. This letter is NOT to be considered as a proof of address.

In case you don’t receive the letter before the day of the appointment, don’t worry, you go to the Jobcentre anyway.

Please note: It may happen that during the phone call the operator of the Jobcenter does not correctly write your name or your date of birth or other details. Do not worry because you can correct all the details during the interview.

The interview

Get to the Jobcentre at least 15 minutes before the appointment. Get organized early, consider any delays due to traffic or the subway, if you arrive late you may not accepted. Once at the Jobcentre, show your reference number and you will be given more instructions.

They will ask you the same questions they asked you over the phone, plus other questions about your job, in case you are already working. They will make a copy of your document and in less than half an hour you will finally be out of the Jobcenter.

Please note: If you think your English is insufficient and you cannot understand the operator well, you can request to be assigned an interpreter. The service is offered free of charge by the Jobcentre.


Timing to obtain the NIN

From the day of the call to the Jobcentre to the day of the appointment, the waiting time can vary from 1 to 30 days. In some cases, during the busiest periods, the wait can reach 45 days. From the day of the appointment at the Job Center to the actual reception of the NIN at your home, it takes between 4 and 6 weeks. We can therefore say that to get the NIN from the day of the first call, it can take about 75 days.

During this period you can start working and, if you have already started your work experience, inform your employer about the date of your appointment. Once you receive the NIN, notify your employer of your number. You don’t need to give them the original copy, you can make a photocopy or simply give them the number. The NIN identifies your person. Remember that there is no longer a temporary NIN as happened over 10 years ago.

I have lost the NIN, how can I recover it?

There are several ways to recover the NIN in case you no longer remember it or have lost it. It often happens that you decide to leave the United Kingdom and return after several years without remembering what your NIN is. Remember that the NIN has no expiration date and it will never change.

How can I recover the National Insurance Number? Here’s how to do it.

  • You can find the NIN in your payslip. It is always made of 2 initial letters, a series of 6 numbers and a final letter – Example NIN SP123456A.
  • Register your personal account at and go to the “income” section. In this section you can access your NIN and print a copy. You can also update your NIN data (for example if you changed your address). Generally you don’t need to change the address of the NIN because the address is updated by your employer.
  • Talk to an operator through the NIN live chat: in order to identify you, you will be asked a few questions related to your person, your address and, if your details match those they have, they will help you to recover the NIN.
  • For more information and other methods to recover your NIN visit the official website.

What is the CSCS card and how to apply?

Lavoratori con elmetto in una azienda

The CSCS card (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) is a card attributed to construction workers to demonstrate that they have received adequate training and qualifications to work properly. It was introduced to improve standards and safety on construction sites.

Finding work without this card is not impossible: it is not mandatory. However, most large companies do not hire employees without a CSCS card, so we advise you to request it if you intend to work in this sector in England. Let’s find out how to get it together.

What types of CSCS card are there ?

There is no a unique type of CSCS card: depending on the specific work you do in construction (architect, construction engineer, bricklayer, etc.) you will need to request the CSCS card corresponding to your activity. On this site you will find all the existing categories: click on the one you are interested in to find out what are the qualifications necessary to obtain it. If you are not sure which card you need, you can use the card finder to find out which card suits your skills or qualifications.

Some of the categories are:

  • Laborer: You can receive this card if you have achieved the RQF Level 1 / SCQF Level 4 Award in Health and Safety in a Construction Environment or the SCQF Level 5 REHIS Elementary Health and Safety Certificate. Visit this site to find out where these certificates can be obtained. The card you will receive will be valid for five years;
  • Trainee: You can receive this card if you are currently studying to obtain a certificate. You must have already completed the CITB Health, Safety and Environment test Operative Level in the past two years. This temporary card is valid for five years but cannot be renewed;
  • Skilled Worker: this card is for those who have already obtained an NVQ or SVQ Lelev 2 certificate, or an apprenticeship in the construction sector. This card is valid for five years.

With the exception of the trainee card, all others are renewable. There is also the possibility of requesting the card for a higher role if you progress in your work.

Types of CSCS Card


How do I apply for a card?

The application is made online on the official CSCS website. Make sure you have all the necessary certificates before submitting your application. In addition to the certifications you will be asked to pass the CITB Health Safety and Environment (HS&E) Test: currently the cost is £ 21; starting from April 1st 2020 the cost will be £ 21.50. This is a 50-question test to test your knowledge of workplace safety regulations. Also in this case there are different types of tests depending on your work.

Now that you have all the documents available, let’s find out what you need to send the application to obtain the CSCS card:

  • A scanned copy of your certificates, or a document demonstrating your enrollment in a qualified course for which you will receive a certificate;
  • The Test ID Number of the HS&E test shown on the certificate;
  • Indicate the type of HS&E test achieved;
  • Make sure that the personal data shown on the HS&E certificate is correct;
  • Have a checking account to make a £ 36 payment.

Alternatively, you can call 0344 99 44 777 to request the CSCS card. Make sure you have access to an email account during the call.

Once your request is accepted, the card will be shipped the next day and you will receive it in less than a week.

Watch the video and follow all the instructions to request the CSCS card

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How to prepare for the HS&E test?

Passing the CITB Health Safety and Environment (HS&E) test is essential in order to receive your CSCS card. At the time of application, your certificate must be less than two years old. You can use the card finder to know which type of test you need to pass.

On the CITB online shop you will find a series of books to help you study for the test. The main book with all the information is the Health, Safety and Environment Test for Operatives and Specialist: make sure you have the most recent copy at the time of purchase. The books are exclusively in English, but the smartphone application (available for iOS and Android) is available in 14 languages.

The exam is carried out on a touch screen computer in a center recognized by the CIBT. During the exam it is possible to receive assistance in different languages.

Can an employer apply for a card for his employees?

If you are an employer, you can request the CSCS card for all your employees yourself. After creating an employer account on the CSCS website you will need:

  • Send a scanned copy of the certificate of all your employees, or a document showing that your employees are in the process of obtaining a recognized qualification:
  • Send the test ID number of the HS&E certificate of each employee;
  • Know the type of paper your employees require;
  • Communicate the personal data of each employee.

This application (multiple questions) can only be done online. For this reason you will have to communicate an email address for each of your employees, and you will need to have a current account to make the payment (£ 36 per card).

Renew or replace the card

To renew the CSCS card, just go to the CSCS website where, once logged in to your account, you can request a renewal. You will again be required to demonstrate that you have the necessary qualifications and to declare any changes in your work. The card can be renewed six months before or after the expiry date.

In the event of loss or theft, or if your card is broken, you just need to log in to your account and request a new one. Alternatively you can call +44 (0) 344 994 4777, making sure you have your CSCS registration number on hand or, alternatively, your National Insurance number.

I have my own qualification, can I do the conversion?

The answer is yes. On the NARIC (National Academic Recognition Information Center) website you can convert and certify your documents, to be attached later in your application to receive the CSCS card.

Do you work in the construction sector? Write us in the comments!

How to prepare for a job interview

Come preparare il colloquio di lavoro

How to prepare for a job interview

Has your application been successful and have you finally been called for a first job interview?

Here are some tips to follow to better prepare for the job interview:

  • It may seem obvious but when you are given a date and place for the job interview, try not to decline or postpone, nor anticipate. Do whatever you can to be free on the requested date.
  • Conduct research: it is essential to arrive prepared for the interview, enter the website of the company you have applied for and read the story. How the company was born and the words of its founder / CEO – remember that the idea and philosophy behind the brand will be the subject of several questions that you will be asked during the interview.
  • Review your Curriculum Vitae: It is obvious that you know very well your CV but do not forget to review your professional history, important especially if they will ask you questions regarding some specific positions held during your career; be ready to answer.
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  • If there are long periods of time (gaps) in your Curriculum Vitae in which you have not worked for various reasons, prepare an intelligent justification. If the reason is personal, hopefully never too serious, be honest. Also be sincere for reasons concerning travel or volunteering, both of which are welcomed very well here in England. If the reasons are others, try to articulate a plausible answer and make sure the conversation move on the fact that in your career you have always been a hard worker, apart from these breaks.

Avere successo nel colloquio di lavoro

Some of the most frequently asked questions will be the following:

Why did you decide to apply for this role?”

At home, write down plausible answers. Only you really know what really pushed you to apply, be honest, express your admiration towards the company, if possible, towards the products / services it sells. In the case of a fashion company, for example, it may happen that you have worn the garments of that particular brand several times, then make them aware of it and express your interest as much as you can.

“What improvements do you think you can bring to our team?

Here, too, I always recommend taking pen and paper and analyzing your best qualities and using them to ensure that they can represent a potential improvement for the company, eventually you are hired.

List a number of strengths and weaknesses that belong to you”

Once again, make a wise choice and choose weak points that, from another point of view, can also be seen as a strength.

There are different types of contracts and wages in the UK. Find out what the differences are

Where do you see yourself in ten or twenty years?”

Study this answer with caution. Communicate your dreams and, obviously, if your intention is not to be in the company for at least 5 years, do not tell that. We know that sometimes, some jobs are a springboard but this is certainly a detail not to be communicated during a job interview.


What other basic ideas to follow

– Do not speak if you are not questioned, listen carefully to the manager or the recruiter and if you can, use most of his own words in the answer you will formulate. This will demonstrate not only that you are an excellent listener and a respectful individual but also that your language approaches them.

– Do not take uncomfortable positions, sit straight and it is advisable not to cross your arms. Be confident but humble and make clear that you value anything you are told on the other side.

The outfit: in general, black trousers and jacket, and a shirt that can be either white or black. Specifically, for men a tie is obviously welcome (if the environment is an office and / or formal, and for women, if you choose a skirt, always black, I recommend wearing one with a length that goes beyond the knee. No colored shoes, always choose a black, elegant and formal ones. Light heel, but it is not essential as long as, I repeat, the shoe is black and sober.


– Study well the itinerary in advance. Consider the various traffic and strikes and especially the time you will start the journey, to make sure you arrive on time.

– If you were to succeed at an initial interview and you are asked to start immediately, you will be asked how much notice you will have to give to the company for which you are currently working. If you are not asked, you can mention it, saying that you have a notice to give and respect. The fact that you respect it, speaks volumes about you, as you will be seen as a loyal and respectful worker to any company you will work for.

If you have any suggestions you want us to put on the list of ideas, please let us know in the comments below.

Employment contract in UK

Due persone lavorano al proprio computer

Many people from all around the world every year decide to leave their homeland and move to England to create a better future. Often, however, many of us travel without really knowing what to expect from the new English work experience.

In this article you will find a list of the conditions an English employment contract must have, to be sure that your rights (the same as an English one) are not violated.

Let’s start with the essential information. The English employment contract, to be valid, must necessarily state the name of the employer, his address, and the name of the employee. Other information are detailed below:

The salary

By law, workers in England must receive at least a minimum pay per hour, called the minimum wage. It varies according to your age:

  • Apprentice: £ 4.15 per hour;
  • Up to the age of 18: £ 4.55 per hour;
  • From 18 to 20 years: £ 6.45 per hour;
  • Ages 21 to 24: £ 8.20 per hour.

From the age of 25, we no longer speak of minimum wage but of national living wage, which currently corresponds to £ 8.72 per hour. There is also a living wage, currently equivalent to £ 10.75 for London and £ 9.30 for the rest of the UK. Living wage is established by the Living Wage Foundation, which calculates the cost of living in the United Kingdom and based on this determines how much a person must be paid to live properly. It is the only pay that makes a distinction between the cost of living in the capital and the rest of the country, but unlike the minimum wage and national living wage, employers are not required to respect it.

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The minimum wage is updated every April. You can view a table with all the information on the minimum wage on this site.

In England you will be paid according to your position (team leader, manager, CEO etc.), but you will not be guaranteed a minimum wage depending on the level of your job, as is the case of many European countries. Take for example the position of Store Manager in London: a Google search suggests that the pay is around £ 28,000 per year. It is therefore very likely that, in case you receive an offer for a similar job, your annual salary is around that amount, but keep in mind that nothing prevents the company from paying you less.

The method of payment varies greatly depending on the job: it can be weekly, biweekly or monthly, paid by bank transfer or in cash (more rarely). Most people have an employment contract with an annual wage, while others, especially in the retail sector, are paid by the hour and the worker receives a paycheck (paper or electronic) at the end of the month with the number of hours worked listed, the salary and taxes deducted (those who earn less than £ 12,500 per year – for the year 2020-2021 are exempt from taxes).

If you work with targets (very used in sales and recruitment), you will receive a fixed minimum wage every month, plus commissions if you reach your target.

In England several companies award workers with a bonus towards the end of the year.

Dipendenti di una azienda in ufficio

Type of employment contract

There are several contracts in England if you are an employee. Your contract can be:

  • Temporary contract: temporary contract, often used for seasonal jobs, for example during the Christmas holidays, when shops need more staff. It is possible that, once the holiday period is over, you are offered a permanent position;
  • Fixed term contract: fixed-term contract, similar to temporary contracts, in which the start and end date of the work must be clearly indicated;
  • Permanent contract: it is a permanent contract with no end specified;
  • Zero Hour contract: zero hour contract, which does not guarantee a regular job with a fixed number of hours per week. The employer asks you for shifts and you can accept or reject.

If you decide to work on your own (self employed or freelance), you will have to declare your business and pay the taxes yourself.

NHS is among the 10 companies with the highest number of employees in the world, exceeding a total of 1.7 million workers

Sick pay

By law, the employer must pay you from the fourth day of illness. Often you get paid from the first day, but nothing forces your employer to do so. Those who earn a minimum of £ 112 gross per week are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), an aid from the British government, which corresponds to around £ 88 per week. If you are absent from work for several weeks, you can request Housing Benefits.


The employer must clearly specify how many days per year of holidays you are entitled. By law, the days must be at least 28, and may or may not include the eight bank holidays. If you are required to work during a bank holiday you will be entitled to a replacement day off, called in lieu. In many companies the number of days allowed increases with years of experience.

Trial period

The contract must also specify the length of your trial period and its conditions. You are very likely to be asked to complete a trial period (typically one to six months) before being officially hired. During the trial period, the notice to be fired or to resign is shorter: in general, a week in advance, instead of a month, is sufficient to resign. It is also important to point out that, during the trial period, the employer can decide not to hire you or terminate your contract for any reason, without you being able to dispute.

In the case of dismissal once the trial period has passed, it is imperative to ask your employer what the reason for this decision is. If you believe that your actions have not gone against what your contract states, you will be entitled to an appeal that will allow you to contest your dismissal before it takes effect.

Once your new position is accepted, your employer has three months to give you a copy of your employment contract. Read your contract carefully, and make sure you can do everything that is required, since once the contract has been signed, everything that is required, and which is part of your job, cannot be contested. For example, if you perform a typical 9-5 job but you are asked to work a night shift, as per the contract you signed, you will not be able to refuse to take your shift.

Do you know the differences between English and other national contracts? Share your work experience in England with us!