Wake up call for SME auto enrolment?

10th February 2016

An interesting statistic appeared in my inbox today suggesting just under 5000 non-compliance notices were issued by the TPR since AE started in 2012.

What’s more interesting however is the fact that over 50% of these were issued in the last three months of 2015.

Worrying for small and micro businesses just about to begin looking at Auto Enrolment and staging was the fact that this rise in notices (and indeed penalties) was anticipated. What’s more worrying is the fact that daily fines were also up considerably.

For small and micro companies looking to understand how to best fund AE acknowledging the risks of not getting it right and receiving daily non-compliance fines of between £50 and £10,000 per day should be a salient point, and mean that getting prepared for auto enrolment is now even more important.

The much panned Government ‘Workie’ campaign has hit our screens many times over the last few months and it is encouraging to see that the TPR has indicated that 90% of those smaller companies who have just gone through staging have acted within the law.

However, that also means that one in ten employers hasn’t, and this should be a wake-up call to those companies who are behind the curve in terms of planning for their company staging date.

Key points from TPR’s bulletin:

  • Approximately 30,000 medium sized employers, (those with approx 62 – 149 workers), who staged in April-July had reached their deadline to complete their declaration of compliance by the start of December 2014.
  • A total of 166 Fixed Penalty Notices (£400 fines) were issued in the last three months of the year.
  • The number of compliance notices issued also rose with 1,139 notices issued. These notices instruct an employer to remedy a contravention of one or more of their employer duties or risk a fine or further action from the regulator.
  • A significant number of the notices issued in this period were to employers who had missed their deadline to submit their declaration.