Key legislation for all employers | Wright Vigar

Key legislation for all employers

 In Advice, News

Auto enrolment

The Governments’ Pension Reforms continue to have a significant impact on employers as small businesses are, for the first time, having to automatically enrol eligible employees into Workplace Pension Schemes, pay contributions and collect employee contributions.

Between now and September 2017 a large number of smaller employers will reach their staging dates, and will be required to comply with the regulations.

What action do you need to take?

  • If you have not already done so, establish your Staging Date (the date by which you will be expected to comply);
  • Assess your workforce;
  • Select a suitable Qualifying Workplace Pension Scheme;
  • Keep records of all aspects of the scheme;
  • Monitor your workforce to ensure ongoing compliance with the Regulations;
  • Communicate initial enrolment and any further changes to you employees.

Employers need to establish what will be required of them and not underestimate the scale or cost of the work involved. The Pension Regulator is empowered to issue significant penalties if they think employers are in breach of their compliance duties, coercing their employees to opt-out or committing employment discrimination by age or earnings.

You may need to seek the advice of an Independent Financial Advisor or you may find it’s possible to work with an existing pension provider if you already have a scheme in place. If you have no scheme in place you may need to undertake a Trust Based arrangement known collectively as Master Trusts such as NEST, Now Pensions or The Peoples’ Pension.

Many Payroll Providers are introducing “bolt-ons” to their programmes, at a cost, that will assist in the administration and record keeping.

There are new regulations surrounding director only businesses and Personal Services workers (such as au-pairs, nannies, carers, private midwifes etc.) which may mean that you are exempt from auto enrolment duties. If you think you are exempt you will still need to inform the Pension Regulator so that they remove you from their database.

National Minimum Wage / National Living Wage

The hourly rate for the minimum wage depends on the age of your employee and whether they are classed as an apprentice.

You must be at least school leaving age to get the National Minimum Wage and aged 25 or over to get the National Living Wage – the minimum wage will still apply for workers aged 24 and under.

These rates change every April and below are the current rates from April 2017.

Year 25 and over 21 to 24 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
April 2017 £7.50 £7.05 £5.60 £4.05 £3.50

Apprentices are entitled to the apprentice rate if they’re either:

  • aged under 19
  • aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship

Apprentices are entitled to the minimum wage for their age if they are both:

  • aged 19 or over
  • have completed the first year of their apprenticeship

If all this red tape fills you with dread, you will be pleased to know Wright Vigar can offer you a professional payroll service with an expert team on-hand to give you peace of mind that you are complying with legislation and paying the correct amount to your workforce.

If you would like advice on any points raised in this article please contact Carolyn Cunningham, Payroll Manager at Wright Vigar, on 01522 531341 or email – we would be delighted to help you!


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