National Insurance Act 1946

Publication Date:January 01, 1946
 
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National Insurance Act, 1946

(9 & 10 Geo. 6.) CHAPTER 67.

An Act to establish an extended system of national insurance providing pecuniary payments by way of unemployment benefit, sickness benefit, maternity benefit, retirement pension, widows' benefit, guardian's allowance and death grant, to repeal or amend the existing enactments relating to unemployment insurance, national health insurance, widows', orphans' and old age contributory pensions and non-contributory old age pensions, to provide for the making of payments towards the cost of a national health service, and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid.

[1st August 1946]

B E it enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Insured Persons and Contributions.

Part I.

Insured Persons and Contributions.

S-1 Description and classification of insured persons.

1 Description and classification of insured persons.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, every person who on or after the appointed day, being over school leaving age and under pensionable age, is in Great Britain, and fulfils such conditions as may be prescribed as to residence in Great Britain shall become insured under this Act and thereafter continue throughout his life to be so insured.

(2) For the purposes of this Act, insured persons shall be divided into the following three classes:—

(a ) employed persons, that is to say persons gainfully occupied in employment in Great Britain, being employment under a contract of service

(b ) self-employed persons, that is to say persons gainfully occupied in employment in Great Britain who are not employed persons

(c ) non-employed persons, that is to say persons who are not employed or self-employed persons.

Hereafter in this Act any employment by virtue whereof an insured person is an employed person is referred to as an ‘employed contributor's employment’.

(3) Provision may be made by regulations for modifying the said classification in relation to cases where it appears to the Minister desirable by reason of the nature or circumstances of a person's employment or otherwise, and such regulations may in particular provide—

(a ) for treating as an employed contributor's employment—

(i) employment under a public or local authority constituted in Great Britain notwithstanding that it is not employment under a contract of service

(ii) employment outside Great Britain in continuation of any employed contributor's employment

(b ) for treating as not being an employed contributor's employment, or for disregarding,—

(i) employment which is of a casual or subsidiary nature or in which the insured person is engaged only to an inconsiderable extent;

(ii) employment in the service, or for the purposes of the trade or business, or as partner, of the insured person's husband or wife;

(iii) employment by a relative in the common home of the insured person and the employer;

(c ) for treating a person's employment as continuing during periods of holiday, unemployment or incapacity for work and in such other circumstances as may be prescribed.

S-2 Source of funds.

2 Source of funds.

(1) For the purpose of providing the funds required for paying benefit, and for making any other payments which under this Act are to be made out of the National Insurance Fund established under this Act, contributions shall be payable by insured persons, by employers and out of moneys provided by Parliament in accordance with the following provisions of this section.

(2) Subject to the provisions of this Act—

(a ) every employed person of any description set out in the first column of Part I of the First Schedule to this Act shall be liable, as from the appointed day, to pay weekly contributions at the rate respectively set out in the second column of the said Part I;

(b ) every employ of an employed person of any description set out in the first column of Part II of the said Schedule, or of any person of any such description who is to be treated by virtue of that Part of that Schedule as an employed person, shall be liable, as from the said day, to pay weekly contributions in respect of that person at the rate respectively set out in the second column of the said Part II;

(c ) every self-employed person of any description set out in the first column of Part III of the said Schedule, shall be liable, as from the said day, to pay weekly contributions at the rate respectively set out in the second column of the said Part III;

(d ) every non-employed person of any description set out in the first column of Part IV of the said Schedule shall be liable, as from the said day, to pay weekly contributions at the rate respectively set out in the second column of the said Part IV.

(3) Subject to the provisions of this Act, there shall be paid out of moneys provided by Parliament in such manner and at such times as the Treasury may determine—

(a ) for each contribution as an employed, self-employed or non-employed person paid by a person of any description set out in the first column of Part V of the said First Schedule, and for each employer's contribution paid in respect of a person of any such description, the sum (hereafter in this Act referred to as ‘the Exchequer supplement’) respectively set out in the said Part V in relation to a contribution of that class and a person of that description; and

(b ) in addition to the Exchequer supplements, the following sums, namely—

(i) as respects the period beginning with the date on which contributions become payable in accordance with the foregoing provisions of this section and ending with the thirty-first day of March, nineteen hundred and forty-nine, the sum of three million pounds for each complete month in that period and a proportionate sum for any part of a month therein;

(ii) as respects the period of six years next following the said thirty-first day of March, the sum of forty million pounds for the first year of that period, and for any subsequent year thereof a sum greater by four million pounds than the sum for the immediately preceding year;

(iii) for any year after the end of the last mentioned period, such sum as Parliament may hereafter determine.

For the purpose of paragraph (a ) of this subsection, the number of contributions of any class paid in any period by or in respect of persons of any description shall be estimated in such manner as the Treasury may determine.

(4) Subject to the provisions of this Act, as from the beginning of the contribution week beginning next after the expiration of five years from the date of introduction of new pension rates, the rates of contributions set out in the third columns of Parts I, II, III and IV of the First Schedule to this Act shall have effect in substitution for the rates set out in the second columns of those Parts respectively.

(5) Subject to the provisions of this Act and of any regulations, no person shall be entitled to pay any contribution thereunder other than a contribution which he is liable to pay.

(6) If any employer or insured person fails to pay any contribution which he is liable under this Act to pay, he shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding ten pounds.

S-3 Variation of contribution rates to stabilise employment.

3 Variation of contribution rates to stabilise employment.

(1) Where it appears to the Treasury expedient so to do with a view to maintaining a stable level of employment, they may by order direct that contributions, instead of being paid at the rates set out in the First Schedule to this Act, shall, for such periods as may be specified by or determined in accordance with the order, be paid at such higher or lower rates, subject to the next following subsection, as may be so specified or determined.

(2) An order under this section shall not provide—

(a ) for increasing or reducing the rate of any contribution as an employed person and the rate of the corresponding employer's contribution by different amounts;

(b ) for increasing or reducing the rate of the Exchequer supplement for any contributions except—

(i) where the rate of those contributions is also increased or is also reduced; and

(ii) in such manner as not to affect (except so far as appears to the Treasury expedient for convenience of calculation) the proportion which the rate of the supplement bears to that of the contributions.

(3) Contributions payable in accordance with any order under this section shall be deemed for the purposes of this Act to be contributions payable in accordance with the relevant provisions of the last foregoing section and the said First Schedule.

(4) Any order under this section may be varied or revoked by a further order thereunder.

S-4 Number and class of contribution for any week.

4 Number and class of contribution for any week.

(1) A person shall not be liable to pay more than one contribution as an insured person for any contribution week, and not more than one employer's contribution shall be payable in respect of any person for any contribution week.

(2) Subject to the following provisions of this section, an insured person shall be deemed for the purpose of the provisions of this Part of this Act relating to contributions to be—

(a ) an employed person as respects any contribution week during any part of which he is an employed person

(b ) a self-employed person as respects any other contribution week during any part of which he is a self-employed person;

(c ) a non-employed person as respects any contribution week during no part of which he is either an employed or a self-employed person.

(3) Where, as respects any employed contributor's employment—

(a ) no services are rendered by an employed person in any contribution week; and

(b ) no remuneration is paid...

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