Is your business ready for pension auto-enrolment?

As we reported back in November, more than half a million small and micro businesses will need to begin offering pensions to their staff during 2016, so make sure to check whether yours is one of them. 

Pensions auto-enrolment is the nationwide change in the law making it compulsory for businesses of all sizes to offer, and pay into, a workplace pension for their employees. The Pensions Regulator estimates that around 512,000 small and micro businesses will hit their “staging date” in 2016, requiring them to offer a pension.

The National Hairdressers' Federation this week issued another warning to hair and beauty businesses and revelaed that a recent survey of its members suggested that nearly half expected to hit this deadline during 2016, yet, worryingly, a fifth admitted they still did not know when their staging date would be. The Pensions Regulator has a “Finding your staging date” tool on its website,

As it can take as long as a year to set up and organise a pension scheme, beauty businesses are urged not to ignore the arrival of this change – especially as there are fines for not offering a scheme when you should, which can be as high as £50,000.

NHF president Paul Curry said: “Salons are now waking up to the fact they need to be offering a pension scheme to their staff. But many still aren’t up to speed on their new legal responsibilities. Salons also need to recognise that, even if they only have one staff member or even if their employees have said they want to opt out of a pension, they still have to offer a scheme.”

The NHF has set up a pension scheme specifically for salons, which is open to both members and non-members. It has published a guide to auto-enrolment for employers, and one for employees, and it is also running events – open to members and non-members – throughout the year explaining how auto-enrolment works. Find out more about these on the NHF website.