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The operational teams of Additional Business Workstream (ABW) are situated at Benton Park View and Hebburn.

The work currently being undertaken by the operational areas within ABW is:

Non-matching items (NMI)
When someone pays National Insurance contributions, it is vital that their NIRS2 account is updated accordingly. Sometimes, the personal information provided about an employee on a P14 (end of year return) does not match the records held on NIRS2. For example, someone may have changed their surname, or not provided a date of birth to their employer.

When this happens, the contributions shown on the P14 cannot be posted to the employee's account, and a Non-Matching Item (NMI) is produced. It is then job of NMI teams to trace the correct person (using DCI) and make sure that their National Insurance Contributions are correctly recorded on their NIRS2 account. If staff are unable to do this immediately, they ask the employer or employee concerned to request more information.

There are currently 9 ABW teams working on Employer group's NMI workload, with another 60 pensions recovery staff also being trained to assist. Non Matching Items is a workload belonging to General Index who are a Business Unit based in Hebburn, offering a specialised NINo tracing service.

Age Exemptions
Women over the age of 60 and men over the age of 65 are not liable to pay any National Insurance contributions. However, their employers will still deduct the contributions until they receive an official notice from the Inland Revenue. This official notice comes in the form of an Age Exemption Certificate.

The customer has to apply directly to us for this certificate, and present it to their employer. We cannot issue this certificate unless the customer's date of birth is shown as 'verified' on NIRS2. If a date of birth is verified it means that proof of age (i.e. a birth certificate or passport) has been presented to an Inland Revenue office. If the date of birth is not verified, the customer is asked to send one of these forms of ID.

If customers did not receive Age Exemption Certificates, employers would continue to deduct National Insurance contributions from their salary. This would result in a significant increase in work for Refunds Group when the contributions were posted onto the customer's account.

Verification and issue of new National Insurance Cards
The team deals with requests for new NINO cards due to the change of name (marriage/name change deeds) and also updates of address on NI accounts. Customers call the contact centre, who send out a form for them to fill in (CA5403) and return to our department. We the check the information and update any information that we need to. We can then issue a new NI card, or if we need more details, send another form for them to complete (CA5410).

As we can only issue 2 NI cards per account, we nay need to send a letter to the customer letting them know they have had the maximum number of cards allowed. We then send them an official letter confirming their National Insurance number if they need to prove it for any reason.

What is it like to work in ABW Operations?
"I feel that by coming together as one evening organised group we have raised the profile of evening workers and helped lift some of the preconceived ideas that were once held." Roger Edmeades, said who joined MICO as a direct entrant D-Band Manager "I think that now we have a permanent base the evening work streams can only diversify and increase their knowledge. On the whole I enjoy the daily challenges I face and look forward to a bright future with the Evening Business Unit."

"For me the post positive part of working within ABW has been getting to know other D-Band managers. Although we work in different areas we now work closely as one team." Julie Nimmo said, who has worked within NICO for fifteen years "I also enjoy the changes and variation in work and seeing staff develop from when they first joined NICO."

is a C2 on one of ABW's operational sections. She is positive about the future of evening work within NICO and what has been achieved so far within ABW. "I took up my post in ABW in August as a new C2 I was looking forward to the challenge of not only a new job for me but a new business stream within NICO - and I haven't been disappointed". Says Lyne Caston "I have 13 teams, over 4 buildings including Hebburn and no two days are ever the same. We not only have our existing workloads, but we have recently undertaken new work which until recently completed by the network offices."

"The last few months have been busy getting to know every one, learning about the work and adjusting to some changes to my working pattern." Lyne continued "But on the whole I am really enjoying the experience and I'm looking forward to a very busy year with more new work and staff expected."

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Julia Deakin is a member of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders.
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