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Employers who ignore their auto-enrolment duties could end up with auto-enrolment fines as well as a bad credit rating after being handed a County Court Judgement (CCJ).

A small number of companies have been handed CCJs after failing to pay their automatic enrolment fines.

This can happen when employers persistently ignore penalty notices sent to them by The Pensions Regulator. Employers failing to pay within 30 days of receiving the CCJ, will have the details entered on their credit record. This means they will find it difficult to borrow money to invest in their business.

The report has the example of a removals firm who took two years to comply with their automatic enrolment duties. This was despite receiving two Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) and an Escalating Penalty Notice (EPN). It was only when TPR applied for a CCJ that the employer became compliant and paid their fines.

Charles Counsell, Automatic Enrolment Executive Director has commented.

He said, “A CCJ goes onto an employer’s credit record for six years, affecting their ability to get business loans.

“Burying your head in the sand and ignoring your legal duties means your staff are missing out on pensions they are entitled to. And also your credit rating and reputation could be hit.”

Between October and December 2,919 £400 Fixed Penalty Notices were issued, bringing the total since 2012 to 9,831.

The report flags the hospitality sector as an area at higher risk of non-compliance. The sector, which includes hotels, pubs and bars, has received a higher percentage of fines. This typically includes a large proportion of employees on non-standard contracts, which explains the higher proportion of non-compliance.

Small employers can become non-compliant because they are more likely to leave things to the last minute. But in most cases the nudge of a compliance notice is enough to get them back on track.

Counsell added, “Our message to small and micro employers has always been to ensure they leave enough time. But also be clear about what they will need to do to comply. We are here to help – but we will take action if an employer is wilfully non-compliant.

“There’s plenty of information on our website on how to assess and enrol people who work varying hours, so there’s no excuse not to comply.”

Recent research by YouGov found that auto-enrolment (AE) is fair and good. Surveys showed around 60% of SMEs think auto-enrolment is fair and good and should be applied to all employers. And more than two thirds (70%) of those that have staged think AE is a good thing for their employees.

The survey was conducted among senior decision-makers at SMEs that were aware of their business’s staging date. It also found the majority (51%) of SMEs that had already staged supported workers currently outside AE being brought in. The same percentage also supported the self-employed being brought in.

Lee French from Corinthian Affinity comments:

French said: “It’s great that the majority of companies are satisfied with the principle of auto-enrolment and its effect on their employees. However, there are clearly concerns with how it impacts on the business itself. If you want advice on how to minimise the disruption and red-tape, why not contact us for an informal chat?”

There was also reasonable support for compulsion amongst SMEs, with 43% of those that have already staged saying they thought all eligible employees should be forced to pay into a workplace pension, with no opt outs.

And 46% of SMEs that had already staged agreed that businesses had a role to play in minimising opt outs amongst their employees.

Are you about to stage for automatic enrolment?

Then why not attend our FREE seminar to learn everything you need to know about the process.

Entitled ‘Do you care about your staff?’, the seminar takes place on April 26 at the Hilton Hotel in Drake Way, Reading, from 9.30am to noon.

Robert MacGregor, MD of Corinthian Group of which Beaufort Consulting is part, will be speaking at the event. The schedule for the day will follow shortly.

Did you also know that 40 per cent of small business owners agree that they tend to leave implementing Government legislation, whatever it is, to the last minute?

In fact, 1 in 5 employers now miss their Pension Auto-Enrolment staging date altogether and risk being fined.

Beaufort Consulting help real companies and their employees make the right decisions, in order to achieve their pension and benefit goals. Because every business is different Beaufort Consulting don’t just offer a one-size fits all product.

Beaufort Consulting will help you choose the right package for your company which includes:

  • A fully compliant auto-enrolment service
  • Comprehensive UK based implementation support
  • To reduce your employees’ net costs by 12%
  • Presentations and individual consultations
  • 5* Defaqto rating and Master Trust accredited Qualifying Workplace Pension Scheme with a wide range of investment options

To secure your place email Danielle at [email protected]

Alternatively, call the office switchboard on 0118 987 9400.

Corinthian Group has been shortlisted for the prestigious Corporate Adviser Awards 2017 in association with Scottish Widows.

We are delighted to announce that we are in the running for the ‘Best Adviser Auto-Enrolment Proposition’ title in the prestigious Corporate Adviser Awards.

Winners will be announced at the Awards ceremony on 28 February, at the Grange St Paul’s Hotel, London.

Lee French, Director, Corinthian Affinity Solutions Limited, commented. He said, “These awards aim to celebrate the brightest and the best in workplace financial services, and we are delighted to have been named among them.

“We work hard to understand our clients’ needs, offering pensions solutions in a transparent, cost-effective way which adds value for employers. This award nomination validates everything we try to achieve.”

Are you one of the 800,000 small businesses reaching their pensions auto-enrolment staging date this year? Why not have an informal chat with us?

We offer:

  • A fully compliant auto-enrolment service,
  • Comprehensive UK based implementation support,
  • To reduce your employees’ net costs by 12%,
  • Presentations and individual consultations,
  • 5* Defaqto rating and Master Trust accredited Qualifying Workplace Pension Scheme with a wide range of investment options.

Contact us today at [email protected] or call us on 020 3668 3999.