Auto enrolment clinic: Managing fluctuating workforces

I am a fan of pensions and wholly support auto enrolment. Not enough of us have been investing in our retirement pot.

Simon SteadBy Simon Stead of Solutions InStead.

However, I work with a lot of SME businesses and the question of how to manage the introduction of auto enrolment and its on-going compliance processes has led some of those businesses to rethink the way they approach their resourcing and administration processes.

Let’s take an example, a business with around 100 permanent employees serving a market and a demand for services that can change from day to day.

This kind of business may rely heavily on fixed term and zero hours contract employees and the requirements change daily.

Auto enrolment is both complex and potentially resource-hungry, add into that mix the transient labour and you have a major undertaking that will not only cost to implement in terms of software systems but the on-going cost of administering of the scheme.

Auto enrolment for some has led to a major rethink about how they recruit and administer their payroll and pensions processes. It has led them to review their labour and administration costs and the option of using external recruitment consultancies and even outsourcing the payroll process itself.

Medium-sized businesses like these have a real dilemma. Larger employers are likely to have the resources and knowledge to handle auto enrolment, very small employers may already outsource but to these medium sized businesses it a fundamental question of how they manage their resources. This all sounds a bit negative but actually its not, any change that comes along can be an opportunity to challenge the way we work and look for improvements that will allow the business to focus on getting the best possible outcome for their employees and ultimately their customers.