New Employers and Auto Enrolment
All employers must complete their auto enrolment (AE) duties, including new employers. From the 1st of October 2017, clients who become an employer for the first time will immediately have AE duties to complete for any staff that they employ. As soon as you employ your first member of staff your automatic enrolment legal duties will kick into effect. When you become a new employer after the 1st October, you will not have a "staging date". Your auto enrolment duties will apply from the first date that the first employee starts to work for you, which is known as the "duties" start date.
Setting you up
Where you are a new employer and about to employ someone for the first time, you will need to complete certain tasks in preparation for auto enrolment. As a first step, you will need to register as an employer with HMRC. As a second step, you will need to inform T(he) P(ensions) R(egulator) of the chosen point of contact for auto enrolment. You should be ready to comply with the legal auto enrolment duties as soon as the first new employee begins employment.
Employer spot checks
TPR has begun auto enrolment employer spot checks across the UK. Inspectors will visit hundreds of businesses over the coming months to check and ensure that employees are being given access to a workplace pension scheme. It is important that you are aware of these legal duties and ensure you take steps to avoid being fined by the Regulator.
Next Steps to comply
Both HMRC and The Pensions Regulator recommend that employers utilise payroll software that supports the process of auto enrolment. It is advisable that the payroll is also integrated with the pension provider. Be aware that Basic PAYE tools will not cater for your auto enrolment duties. Read Accounting Web's article on: Pros and Cons of HMRC’s Basic PAYE Tools for Auto Enrolment
On the duties start date, you must assess all staff to see if they meet the criteria to be put into a pension scheme. Any eligible employees must be automatically enrolled into a qualifying auto enrolment pension scheme where the employer must also make contributions to the pension pot. All employees must receive communications informing them how auto enrolment will affect them and what their rights are. Good payroll software, such as BrightPay can automate these tasks for you.