New auto-enrolment service will help employers cut risk of non-compliance

Yorkshire chartered accountants, Garbutt + Elliott, has launched a new specialist service to help employers through the minefield of auto-enrolment.

Led by Sue Andrews, employee benefit consultant within the wealth management team at Garbutt + Elliott, the auto-enrolment service offers employers a tailor-made plan to ensure their company complies with regulations.

This year, small and micro employers are required to provide pensions for their employees. They will join large and medium-sized companies which have been auto-enrolling since the scheme was launched in 2012.

Sue said: “There are two key points which employers need to be mindful of auto-enrolment. The first is that it requires careful planning around the business needs of the employer before being implemented. Ideally, employers should start thinking about their plans around 12 months ahead of their statutory staging date.

“The second is that auto-enrolment doesn’t stop at the staging date. There are ongoing processes which are required at every pay reference period and legislative communications to employees are required at given events.”

More than 43,000 companies have auto-enrolled already, but a further 1.1 million need to do so by the end of 2018. Those which persistently fail to comply could face substantial fines which can range from £50 to £10,000 per day depending on the number of staff employed.

The team behind the new service from Garbutt + Elliott will work closely with employers to offer bespoke advice suited to the specific requirements of the business and its attitude to auto-enrolment.

Sue added: “This is far from a one-size fits all approach. We develop a project plan tailored to the employer’s needs. Our aim is to work with all employers to the level that they need and want us to.  We will support them through the process until we are confident that they are compliant. We can also offer continued support and engagement to ensure that once they are compliant they stay that way.”

She added that there wasn’t a stereotypical type or size of company where issues over non-compliance arose, but industries which had a high staff turnover, casual workers, as well as those who employed staff through agencies, were at a higher risk of falling foul of regulations.

Sue continued: “Awareness of auto-enrolment is rising but there are worrying levels of complacency. It’s clear that employers with their head in the sand, or those hoping that the regulator will overlook them are on a dangerous collision course.”

Commenting on the launch of the new service, managing partner, Russell Turner said: “At Garbutt + Elliott, we believe that having the right pension scheme to meet the needs of both employer and employee is essential. Our tailored approach to auto enrolment provides businesses with highly effective systems and procedures which reduce the costs and risks associated with non-compliance.

“The experience of the wealth management team, combined with this new auto-enrolment offering, means we are ideally placed to provide a responsive and robust service in this specific area of pensions.”

Garbutt + Elliott is an independent accounting and advisory firm with offices in Leeds and York. It has eight partners and employs more than 100 people, providing a range of specialist services including audit and advisory, accounting support, taxation, family business and corporate finance support.

For more information visit contact Sue Andrews.