What’s auto-enrolment and how does it affect your children’s nursery staff?

auto enrolment nurseries

Since autumn 2012, the UK Government has implemented a regime that enforces businesses of all shapes and sizes to provide a suitable pension scheme for their employees. Auto-enrolment means businesses must enroll their staff into a company pension scheme automatically or face the risk of substantial fines from The Pensions Regulator.

What does auto-enrolment mean for your children’s nursery and how does it affect your staff? If you haven’t already started considering a company pension scheme, then we highly recommend that you act now and prepare an auto-enrolment solution for your children’s nursery employees. In July 2016, small businesses with fewer than 30 employees were required to have this in place.

Finding your staging date

The Pensions Regulator should already have sent you documentation about automatic enrolment. In order to find out when your company’s staging date is, i.e. the deadline you must have a company pension scheme in place, you’ll need your PAYE Reference.

Visit The Pensions Regulator site here and input your reference number to find out your staging date.

If you don’t pay your staff via a Pay As You Earn (PAYE) scheme, your nursery’s staging date is automatically 1st April 2017, which means you’ve got to move quickly!

Is your entire nursery staff eligible?

It’s a good idea to assess the age of your nursery workforce as this will determine who exactly is eligible for enrolment into a company pension scheme.

The following people are eligible:

  • Employees aged from 22-years-old to state pension age
  • Staff earning £10,000+ per annum
  • Staff working in the UK

Subsequently, if you employ young playworkers aged 17-21, it is not compulsory to enroll them in a company pension scheme, providing they earn less than £10,000 per annum.

Note: Even if you have playworkers on your payroll who only work part-time, if they meet the above criteria for auto-enrolment eligibility, they must be automatically enrolled into a qualified pension scheme.

What are the ramifications for non-compliance?

Any children’s nursery owners that miss their auto-enrolment staging date are liable for immediate £400 penalties from The Pensions Regulator. In addition to those fines, owners will still be required to make the pension contributions missed to date.

If you’re worried about missing your nursery’s staging date, please don’t hesitate to talk to BC Sunderland Driver. Our Keighley-based team can help with every aspect of your company’s pension obligations to ensure you remain on the right side of the law and that your playworkers get what they are entitled to.

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