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Manage workers

How do I prepare for enrolling workers?

When to enrol?

From your staging date or duty start date you need to be ready to enrol workers, so you’ll need to work out who to enrol. You can find out your staging date by visiting The Pensions Regulator’s website and searching for ‘staging date calculator’.

You’ll have to keep assessing your workers on an ongoing basis and this includes all new joiners. You’ll also need to identify changes in worker status due to salary or age.

Assessing workers

Worker assessment is something you’ll have to do every pay period and some employers leave it too late to set up an assessment process. This could mean not meeting your auto enrolment duties in time so it’s a good idea to work out how you’ll do this well in advance of your staging date or duty start date.

Please note, although you’ll have to assess your workers each pay period, you won’t need to enrol any members who’ve been already enrolled unless their enrolment type changes. For example, if a worker who was enrolled as a worker without qualifying earnings (WWQE) becomes eligible to be auto-enrolled because their earnings have increased, you’ll need to enrol them again using the appropriate enrolment type.

Auto enrolment only applies to certain workers depending on their age and earnings. Other workers can ask to be enrolled and you may have to pay contributions for them. Please see What are the different enrolment types? for more information.

Informing workers

By law, you’ll need to send out written information about automatic enrolment to every worker, whichever category they’re in. This includes workers you’re not enrolling, for example those who don’t have qualifying earnings. You’ll have to send this information to your workers within six weeks after your staging date or duty start date.

If you decide to start using NEST before your staging date, you’ll need to enrol these workers as ‘voluntary members’. As the auto enrolment duties won’t apply, these workers won’t be entitled to an opt-out period. You should only use this enrolment type if the worker agrees to join NEST before your duties apply.

You may have chosen to use a waiting period to delay the date you need to automatically enrol your workers into NEST and start making contributions. If you’re using a waiting period you’ll need to communicate twice to each worker. Firstly you’ll need to let your workers know you’re using a waiting period and include information about their rights to opt in to the scheme during this time. Then when the waiting period is over you’ll need to formally assess each worker and send them specific statutory information.

Please see What should I tell my workers about using NEST? to find out more about the information you’ll need to provide.

It’s also a good idea to check that your group and payment source settings are as you would like before you begin enrolment. It’s much easier to delete and create new settings when there aren’t any associated members. This is particularly important to check if you’re using a third party payroll provider as you’ll need to match the settings they’re using.

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