Automatic enrolment: Corporate groups and ownership
27 June 2016
An update from The Pensions Regulator reiterates that ownership is not relevant to automatic enrolment duties; you should not aggregate a corporate group and treat the group as a single employer, just because they might have a common ownership.
Each separate company / legal entity is responsible for the automatic enrolment duties for all of the staff that it has the employment (or service) contracts with – and is referred to as the ‘employer’. If a company does not hold these contracts then it is not their ‘employer’.
I. If the company existed and had workers on 1 April 2012, then its staging date will be determined by the PAYE reference(s) it was using as at 1 April 2012 – and, if using more than one PAYE, the earliest staging date would apply. After 1 April 2012, any change to the PAYE schemes being used will have no effect on the staging date.
II. If the company existed and had workers on 1 April 2012, and did not have or was not using a PAYE scheme, then its staging date will be 1 April 2017. If you start to use a PAYE after 1 April 2012, this will have no effect on the staging date.
III. If the company did not exist or had no workers on 1 April 2012, then its staging date is determined by the date PAYE is first payable in respect of any of its workers – it is considered a “new employer” and will stage at some point from May 2017 onwards.
IV. If the company did not exist or had no workers on 1 April 2012, and does not have and has not used a PAYE, then its staging date will be 1 April 2017.
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