When a new employer is planning to take on a member of staff for the first time, they'll need to carry out certain tasks, for example registering as an employer with HMRC, and taking out liability insurance.
Getting ready for automatic enrolment is one of these tasks, so it's important that your clients understand what they'll need to do and when. The earlier they are prepared, the easier it will be.
Your client's automatic enrolment duties begin on the day their first member of staff starts working for them.
This is known as their duties start date, and your client must immediately undertake certain tasks to ensure they comply with the law. These include assessing their staff, even if they just employ one person, to see if they meet the age and earnings criteria to be automatically enrolled.
If any of their staff do meet the criteria, they'll need to put them into a pension scheme, and your client and their staff will both need to pay into it. They will also need to write to every member of staff, whether or not they meet the age and earnings criteria, to tell them how automatic enrolment applies to them.
When this has been done, your client will need to tell us how they've met their duties by completing a declaration of compliance within five months of the duties start date.
They'll also need to keep managing their ongoing duties, including monitoring the age and earnings of existing and new staff on every payday, to see if they need to be put into a pension scheme. And every three years, your client will need to re-enrol any staff who left the pension scheme, but if they left it within the last 12 months, your client can choose whether or not to re-enrol them.
As their business adviser, you can support your clients with any of these tasks. Some of your clients may be exempt from automatic enrolment, such as those who are directors without a contract of employment.
You can find more information about the exemptions, and all of your client’s automatic enrolment duties on our website.