New figures from the Pensions Regulator show that the number of fixed penalty notices issues to UK employers have risen sharply in the first quarter of 2015.

Between 1 January and 31 March 2014, 198 fixed penalty notices have been issued to employers that have not complied with their compulsory auto enrolment duties.

Important auto enrolment information for small businesses

For businesses with fewer than 15 employees, employers need to be aware that 1 June 2015 is the start of the staging date to begin automatically enrolling jobholders (which must include permanent, fixed term and temporary employees, as well as agency workers) in the auto enrolment pension scheme.

Small employers have until 1 April 2017 to complete the auto enrolment process for all employees, but may find that the process becomes more difficult and time consuming to complete, the later they leave it.

Auto enrolment penalty amounts

The Pensions Regulator can issue escalating penalties where an auto enrolment failure has been identified and not remedied within good time.  These can be set at between £50 and £10,000 per day.

Legal factors to take into consideration

You may already have a pension in place or at least a clause in your employment contracts that relates to company pension schemes. Depending on whether your existing scheme is compliant, or whether you have specified if a pension is included in employment, this may need to be updated on your employees’ employment contracts.

It is also important not to exclude certain types of workers (i.e. agency workers) from auto enrolment, so provision of the scheme and references to it within agreements and employment contracts going forwards should also be carefully considered.  It is likely to be worthwhile for you to seek specialist legal employment advice on whether what you have in place is okay or not.

Get in touch

For legal advice relating to auto enrolment contact Bray & Bray. We have three main offices across Leicestershire so feel free to phone or pop in to talk to our solicitors.