Automatic enrolment Compliance and Enforcement Bulletin

03 August 2015

The latest automatic enrolment compliance and enforcement bulletin includes details of how many times the regulator has used its statutory powers between April and June this year. It is the last bulletin primarily representing medium sized businesses who have implemented automatic enrolment and illustrates that most employers in this group have complied without the need for the regulator to use its powers.

However, the bulletin also highlights lessons to be learned for small and micro employers. In particular it shows employers with seasonal and temporary staff must take care when assessing workers or postponing staff. These types of employers include recruitment businesses, construction firms, bars and restaurants, caterers and shop owners. These types of employers are reminded to ensure they assess all staff and if they choose to use postponement they must inform staff within six weeks of their staging date

Key points from the bulletin include:

  • New figures show compliance with automatic enrolment continues to be the norm.
  • Between April and June 2015: 119 compliance notices; 50 unpaid contributions notices; 68 fixed penalty notices; 0 escalating penalty notices.
  • With tens of thousands of small and micro employers starting out on their automatic enrolment journeys in the coming months, the regulator has warned of potential pitfalls to come.
  • Lessons learned: Employers with seasonal and temporary staff must take care when assessing workers or postponing staff.
  • Employers who do not comply with their duties on time should be aware they will have to pay any missing pensions contributions that occur because of the delay. The strategy and policy explains the circumstances where the regulator will require contributions to be backdated.

Charles Counsell, executive director for AE:

“My message to small and micro employers is to ensure you leave enough time and be clear about what you will need to do to comply. We publish lessons learned to help employers avoid common pitfalls and all the information you need is on our website. We are here to help – but we will take action if an employer is wilfully non-compliant.”

The bulletin has been published at the same time as the regulator’s updated compliance and enforcement strategy and policy which details the regulator’s approach to identifying, deterring, preventing and tackling non-compliance and reflects lessons learned to date about the particular compliance challenges for small and micro employers.