strong copy - julia deakin, writer
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NAWE member qualified teacher SfEP-trained proofreader active member of Albert Poets, Pennine Poets friend of Beehive Poets agency-trained copywriter


Editing and rewriting: The Rewrite

An alternative lifestyle

If variety's your thing, Additional Business Workstream (ABW) is where it's at, writes XXX.

The location is Benton Park View or Hebburn, the hours are 'different', and on ABW's current agenda you'll find:

What happens when an employee's details on a P14 (end of year return) don't match the records on NIRS2 (because they've changed their name, or not provided a date of birth to their employer, say)? The contributions shown can't be posted to the employee's account - and it's the job of Non-Matching Items (NMI) teams to trace the person using the Departmental Central Index (DCI) to make sure their details are correct on both items. If staff can't do this immediately, they ask the employer or employee for more information.

There are currently nine ABW teams on Employer Group's Non-Match workload, with another sixty Pensions Recovery staff being trained. Non-Matching Items is a workload belonging to General Index, a Business Unit based in Hebburn, offering a specialised NINO tracing service.

Age exemptions
Women over 60 and men over 65 don't have to pay National Insurance Contributions, but employers still deduct them until they receive an official Inland Revenue notice - an Age Exception Certificate. The customer needs to apply to us for this, which we can only issue if their date of birth is shown as 'verified' on NIRS2 - i.e. if a birth certificate or passport has been presented to an IR office. If employers continue to deduct contributions, it makes more work for Refunds Group.

New cards for old
The team updates addresses on NI accounts and deals with requests for new NINO cards due to legitimate name changes. Customers call the contact centre, who send them a form to complete and return to our department. We then check the information, update any necessary fields and either issue a new NI card or, if we need more details, send them another form. For security reasons can only issue two NI cards per account, we may write to let the customer know they have had two cards. We then send them an official letter confirming their number.

What's it like to work there?
"I feel that by coming together as one evening organised group we have raised the profile of evening workers and helped lift some preconceptions," says Roger Edmeades. "Now we have a permanent base, the evening work streams can only diversify and increase their knowledge. I enjoy the challenges and look forward to a bright future within the Evening Business Unit."

"For me, the most positive part of working within ABW has been team building with other D-Band managers. Although we work in different areas we now work closely as one team, " says Julie Nimmo, who has been with IR NICO for 15 years. "I also enjoy the changes and variation in work and seeing staff develop from when they first joined NICO."

Lyne Caston is the C2 for ABW Command A. "I started in August, looking forward to the challenge of not only a new job but a new business stream within IR NICO - and I haven't been disappointed," she says. "I have 13 teams in four buildings including Hebburn and no two days are alike. The last few months have been busy learning the ropes," she continued, "but on the whole I am really enjoying the experience and looking forward to a very busy year."

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