Auto-enrolment is a huge challenge but getting it right will be so worthwhile for workers and employers alike. A good outcome awaits those employers who embrace the following top 7 tips which have been compiled as a result of feedback from a variety of sources.
- Understand your deadlines: Every employer has been allocated a Staging Date generally based on numbers of staff employed. There are some quirks to the system and some employers have already discovered their date is earlier than they thought. You should allow 12 to 18 months to get ready.
- Nominate a point of contact as soon as possible: Engage with a suitably qualified employee benefits adviser to act as co-ordinator. Bring your payroll and HR people into the equation to ensure decision taking is robust, rounded and decisive.
- Agree a design and implementation schedule: you will need to review any existing arrangements to see if they are fit for purpose, need adjusted or require replacement. You will have to to assess which employees are in scope and those who are not, seasonal/casual workers for example.
- Ensure payroll systems will cope: procedures will be required to identify employees’ eligibility, deduct the correct levels of contribution and produce the relevant communications at the right time and on an ongoing basis.
- Install processes to handle mandatory staff communications: Consulting with staff from the beginning and throughout the auto-enrolment process will be key. Employees will want to know costs and how they stand to benefit. Remember to factor in up to 90 days consultation.
- Consider salary sacrifice as part of the arrangement: An employer with 250 employees could save up to £7,000 per annum by introducing such a facility. Other flexible arrangements should be reviewed to establish maximum effectiveness.
- Please remember data protection responsibilities: At a time where lots of sensitive data will be being passed about it is important employers understand the need to safeguard such information.