For ordinary employees, the earnings period is usually set by a person’s regular pay interval or intervals (see ¶12550). Company directors are generally in a position to decide when and how they receive a payment of earnings, which potentially gives them the ability to avoid primary Class 1 contribution liability by astute use of the earnings-period rules. For this reason, a director’s earnings period is a tax year, even if he is paid, say, monthly or leaves during the year.

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