More auto-enrolment deadlines are being missed as emphasis shifts to Britain’s smaller businesses

auto enrolment

Firms are obliged to sign employees up to a workplace pension at certain “staging dates”. The government initially focussed on mandating larger firms to auto-enrol workers, with only a long tail of smaller companies now yet to sign up.

But City AM reports that according to Aviva, which used its own application data to compile the survey, such smaller businesses are increasingly likely to be late in getting themselves set up.

Aviva’s statistics suggest one year ago only one per cent of UK firms were late in setting up workplace pensions. In March this figure had spiked to 16 per cent, or one in every six companies.

In addition, the number of firms getting prepared well in advance of auto-enrolment deadlines is falling.

One year ago more than a third of firms had applied to Aviva to set up a workplace pension more than two months in advance. This has now fallen to around a quarter of firms.

Aviva’s managing director of business solutions Andy Beswick labelled the numbers “disappointing” but not unexpected. He added: “Small businesses tend to be less well resourced and aren’t blessed with large HR departments or budgets to help them through their auto-enrolment journey.”

“What the figures do highlight is that there is still work to be done to make business owners aware of their obligations. As an industry, we’ve been talking about auto-enrolment since the early 2000s and implementing it for over four years now.

“But to thousands of employers and employees, it is still a brand new concept and we need to make sure people aren’t getting left behind.”