A third of small businesses do not know what automatic enrolment is

30 June 2017


A recent survey of more than 2,300 small businesses in the UK has revealed that a third do not know what automatic enrolment is, and more than two fifths say the extra expense will affect hiring new staff.


Automatic enrolment will be mandatory for all British businesses by 2018, where business owners will have to contribute to all of their eligible employee’s pensions unless they choose to opt out.


The survey was carried out by online local services marketplace, Bidvine.com, which asked its registered small business owners a series of questions on automatic enrolment.


  • When asked ‘has your business already complied with pension automatic enrolment?’ more than a third (35%) of respondents didn’t know what automatic enrolment was, a third (33%) answered no.

  • More than two fifths (43%) of respondents answered that the expense of contributing to employee’s pensions will affect hiring new staff and almost two thirds (62%) think that the majority of their staff will stay ‘opted in’.

  • Bidvine.com asked respondents if they think there has been enough support and information for small businesses about automatic enrolment, more than two thirds (65%) answered no, compared to just a third (35%) who said yes.

  • Two thirds (66%) of respondents didn’t know the deadline for automatic enrolment compared to just more than a third (34%) who did.


In response, Bidvine.com has teamed up with Automatic Enrolment Bureau to create a handy guide on what small businesses need to know about auto-enrolment.


Do you have clients who are thinking of employing someone for the first time?

Do you know when their duties will start?

The date your client starts to have automatic enrolment duties will depend on when they first became an employer.

If a client is thinking of taking someone on for the first time, there are a number of things to consider, and automatic enrolment is just one of those steps – new employers risk a fine if they do not comply with the law on time.

The Pensions Regulator has produced a useful summary table which provides an overview of when their duties will come into effect.