Hello, and welcome to this video for business advisers on automatic enrolment.
Today, we’re going to be looking at how you can help your clients who employ workers for short periods of time.
This is particularly common in industries like farming, retail, or catering, when businesses take on extra staff during peak seasons.
The first thing to remember is that the laws on automatic enrolment apply to all employers, even if they have a high turnover of staff, and they need to think about it in the same way as they do their tax return or their national insurance contributions.
It’s just business as usual.
So they need to find out their staging date, and then go through the steps that apply to them.
If your client has any employeeswho stop working for them within three months – that’s the maximum length of time you can use postponement for - they can use this option for some or all of their staff.
It’s important to remember that postponement is applied per individual – so your client can use it each time they take on a new worker.
You should also know that - postponing automatic enrolment doesn’t change the staging date, or the deadline by which the employer needs to complete their declaration of compliance.
There’s more information on our website about postponement but, essentially, if they postpone assessing any of their staff they need to write to them to let them know.
They also need to let their staff know that they can join a scheme during the postponement period, so it’s important to give automatic enrolment plenty of thought and preparation before the staging date.
We’ve got a template letter available on our website that you or your client can use to help with this.
At the end of the postponement period, they’ll need to automatically enrol anyone who still works for them and meets the age and earnings thresholds – that’s £192 per week, and aged between 22 and the state pension age.
If an employer doesn’t have any workers who meet the age and earnings criteria to be enrolled then they only need to set up a scheme if and when a member of staff asks to join or their circumstances change (that’s if they turn 22 or they start earning over £192 a week).
If one of their staff members earns enough to be automatically enrolled one month, but then their earnings drop, they’ll stay in the scheme but it’s likely that neither they nor your client will need to make contributions.
For more information about getting a scheme in place and what to look out for when choosing one, visit the 'choosing a pension scheme' section on our website.
A lot of employers don’t realise that they have to reassess their workers each time they’re paid, to see if they meet the criteria for being automatically enrolled.
Having the right payroll software can really help employers with seasonal or temporary staff as it will automatically assess them each time they get paid, calculate contributions where necessary, and some types have a postponement function built into them.
If you want to know more about payroll, we’ve produced a video covering this subject, and the link’s on screen now.
Finally - one thing that some employers in this sector have in common is that some of their workers have English as a second language.
In this case, their pension provider may offer them the option of translating the letters that they issue to staff, so check with your client if this is an important factor for them.
That’s it for today - thanks for joining me, and I’ll see you again soon.