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Trainee nursing associates to pay full tax

Students for the new nursing associate role will not be given national insurance exemptions, NHS Employers has discovered on the trainees' behalf.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) clarified that nursing associate students will not meet the eligibility to qualify for the Widening Access Training (WAT). 

HMRC said that the role does not qualify for the tax and national insurance (NI) exemptions that some student nurses receive on the basis that their income is 'more similar in nature to a salary than a scholarship income,' NHS Employers said.

In order to receive tax-free payments, or be eligible for a refund, the applicants' income must be part of a scholarship or bursary, or they must receive full-time instruction at a 'recognised university or similar establishment open to the public'. 

Following several enquiries from students, NHS Employers found that 'HMRC have taken the view that the payments received by trainees are subject to superannuation contributions, where progression can be made on a salary scale, making them more characteristic of a salary rather than the receipt of a bursary or similar endowment.

'It is also considered that as the majority of training is provided in-post by the NHS, with possibly only one day per week spent at an educational establishment, this does not satisfy the qualifying conditions.'

If any trainee nursing associate has received alternative advice, they can contact HMRC, who are the authoritative voice on this matter by emailing or calling 03000 555798.