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Enrolling workers using file transfer – video transcript

In this demo, we’ll show you how to enrol your workers using secure file transfer, or SFTP.

This method is useful for uploading large CSV or XML files as there’s no limit to file size. You may want to use SFTP if you intend to automate your process. You’ll also have the option to collect return files from NEST by SFTP.

SFTP should only be used by employers who are comfortable with using the technology. You can refer to the How to set up and use file transfer protocol  guide on our website.

To connect to our server and transfer files using SFTP, you’ll need SFTP client software. To set up SFTP, both you and NEST must generate public and private keys, and then exchange public keys with each other. There’s more detail on the process of setting up SFTP on our website.

Once you’ve set up your SFTP account and prepared your CSV or XML file, you’re ready to transfer it to NEST. You’ll need to follow the instructions from your SFTP software to send the file.

To help with the quality of your files, use our CSV templates and XSD schemas. You’ll find technical information in our Employer payroll guide.

NEST then processes your file. The time this takes depends on the number of member records in the file and the time of day we receive it. If your file is received before 6pm and contains fewer than one thousand workers, it will be processed within two hours, or overnight for files with more than one thousand.

NEST checks the file to ensure that the file is in the correct format and structure. For example, whether it is a CSV or XML file, and that it has a header, detail and trailer sections.

We then check that the mandatory data fields are completed. The next step is for NEST to check other data in the file is complete, such as whether you’ve included the employer reference number. Finally, NEST performs member-level checks, such as whether you’ve supplied a valid National Insurance number or alternative unique identifier, and if there are any inconsistencies between fields like ‘title’ and ‘gender’.

If you’ve asked to receive return files, NEST then produces a ‘successful enrolments’ file telling you that the members have been successfully processed. The successful enrolment file also contains the start and end dates of the workers’ opt-out period. This will be in the ‘member enrolment’ outbox subfolder. If there are any enrolment errors, you’ll have an ‘unsuccessful enrolments’ file and an ‘enrolment error log’ file to collect.

An unsuccessful enrolments file is a file containing all members for which there is an error. The ‘enrolment error log’ file details the different errors for each of the members contained in the unsuccessful enrolments file.

You can correct the errors by making changes to the file and transferring or uploading it again. Or you can make changes to one member’s data at a time onscreen via the File upload history screen in your secure employer area.

Following successful enrolment, your workers will receive their Member welcome pack in the post. They’ll also receive an email from us three working days after they’ve been enrolled, as long as you’ve given us their email address. This will confirm that they’ve been enrolled.

To find out about enrolling workers manually or using file upload, please return to our website.