How Do Seasonal Workers Fit Into Auto Enrolment

 08 Sep 2017

The workplace pension reform hat that was introduced in October 2012 affects all the employers in the UK that have at least one worker working under them. Auto enrolment is one of the most crucial aspects of the workplace pension reform, under which every employer has to enrol each of their employees into the most suitable workplace pension scheme.

The same scheme also applies to the seasonal workers. Seasonal workers are the employees which are employed only for a limited period of time. They are hired for a specific purpose for a specific duration, and are allowed to leave the organisation after that. To understand this, you should understand the thresholds to the process of auto enrolment which are as follows:

  • People who are not already in any other qualifying scheme
  • People who are aged more than 22 years but comply to the State Pension Age (SPA)
  • People who earn over £10,000 in the concerned tax year
  • People who are based in the UK to earn their living

However, if you feel that someone working as a fruit picker over the summer may not be eligible for auto enrolment, you may be wrong. Taking a working example, say a 22-year old has gone to their parents for a summer vacation, and chooses to work on a friend’s farm to earn some extra cash to facilitate the traveling. They work for 30 hours a week for the minimum wage.

The companies can use postponement in order to minimise the administration work needed with the seasonal workers. This postponement delays the assessment of workers for up to the period of three months. It is on the employer to decide on the last day of the postponement period, which is known as the deferral date. However, the employer need to give a notice to the employee before making this declaration. Postponement can be used more than once for a worker, only if the employee is not an eligible job holder at the end of the postponement period. Another thing that you should keep in mind is that while the postponement would delay the enrolment process, it will never delay the assessment period.

Hence, all your seasonal employees need to be assessed for auto enrolment eligibility to ascertain if they can comply with the legislation. You need to keep all these measures in mind while preparing for auto enrolment of the employees working for you on a seasonal basis.