National Insurance

If you are working as a self-employed locum vet / vet-nurse, it is important that you understand your obligations in respect of maintaining National Insurance contributions in addition to your main income tax liability. The following data has been taken from the HM Revenue and Customs website, and was correct as of 22nd May 2012. For more information please refer directly to their website on If you are self-employed you must pay Class 2 National Insurance contributions unless
  • you are over Retirement Age (60 for women, 65 for men)
  • you are a married woman or widow who holds a valid Married Women’s Reduced Rate Election certificate. (Withdrawn in 1977 for new claimants)
  • you have applied for and been given a Certificate of Small Earnings Exception for the period concerned
You can pay your Class 2 contributions by Direct Debit every month (recommended). Do bear in mind that you may be asked to also pay Class 4 contributions if your profits are high enough although this is payable together with tax as part of your annual self assessment. Subject to some exceptions, everyone is liable to pay Class 2 National Insurance contributions: it is not optional. If you are liable to pay, failure to do so could result in legal action being taken to recover those unpaid National Insurance contributions. You should notify HMRC of your self-employment and arrange to pay Class 2 National Insurance contributions as soon as you start self-employment. Contact 0845 915 4655 for further information if you have any queries or need general advice. If you are thinking of working for yourself, you can call the Self Employed Contact Centre on 0845 915 4515 who will give you helpful information, issue you with a starting up in business guide and register your self-employment if you do decide to become self-employed.