DWP agrees on-farm NI interviews

The Department for Work and Pensions has agreed arrangements for on-farm National Insurance interviews, following the abolition of the Seasonal Workers Scheme.

Agricultural Wages Board - workers picking leeks

Under SAWS, theDWP had a special fast-track process for issuing numbers, but the department has decided not to continue with this facility.

This means seasonal employees without National Insurance numbers will need to have an interview with the DWP to obtain one.

We've been in discussions with the DWP for some time in order to try to reduce the burden on all parties.

The DWP has agreed that where farmers and growers who previously employed SAWS staff are willing to host National Insurance number interviews on-farm, the department will try and make it happen, provided there are a sufficient number of employees and suitable facilities are available.

An information pack provides an overview of the agreed steps to help meet the requirements of agricultural and horticultural employers and employees and to clarify essential steps in the National Insurance number allocation process.

It includes some useful DWP contacts at both national and local levels. It is envisaged that there will be more local engagement with the site interviewing teams in order to agree the practical steps for on farm interviews.

If you wish to arrange for national insurance interviews to take place on your farm we would suggest that you contact the relevant regional DWP contact as early as possible, as we expect demand for farm based interviews to be high.