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Employing seasonal or temporary staff

If you employ seasonal or temporary staff you must assess them individually every time you pay them. This includes staff who work for you for a few days, a few weeks or several months.

Your assessment of who to put into a pension scheme may take more time and effort, as you will need to take into account:

  • that they may only work for you for short periods of time
  • that they may join and leave your employment in the middle of pay periods
  • that their earnings and hours vary

Who do I need to put into a pension scheme?

You must assess your staff to work out who to put into a scheme based on their ages and how much they earn. If you employ family members they will need to be assessed too.

Any staff that are aged between 22 to State Pension Age and earn over £192 a week, or £833 a month, must be put into a pension scheme which you must pay into.

Use our seasonal and temporary staff tool to work out what legal duties will apply to you and what you'll need to do.

What can help when assessing staff?

Payroll software

Having the right payroll software can really help if you have seasonal or temporary staff, or staff with fluctuating hours and earnings.

Most payroll software that is set up for automatic enrolment will assess staff at each pay cycle, calculate contributions where necessary, and some also have a postponement function built into them.

It's important to find the right software that meets your needs and you should check whether it will be compatible with your pension scheme's systems.

Find more information on payroll process.

Pension schemes may also offer services that could help you. You should check what they have available as some schemes can support you working out who to put into a scheme and also calculate contributions for you.

You will have to write to staff individually to tell them how automatic enrolment affects them. Some pension schemes may help with letters to your staff. If you employ staff whose first language is not English, check whether the scheme can provide letters in other languages for you.

Find more information on choosing a pension scheme.

Using postponement

If you know that any of your staff will be working for you for less than three months, you can choose to delay working out who to put into a pension scheme. This is known as postponement. Within six weeks from the date after postponement starts, you must write to staff individually to tell them what you are doing and how automatic enrolment applies to them.

During any staff member's period of postponement, you won't need to put them into a pension scheme unless they expressly ask to be put into one.

Find out more about using postponement.