A recent survey of more than 2,300 small companies in the UK has uncovered that a third don’t know what auto-enrolment is even with the deadline to sign up approaching. More than two fifths also admitted that the additional cost would hamper the hiring of new staff. Auto-enrolment will be required for every single British business by February 2018, where business owners will have to contribute to their staff pensions unless the employees opt out.
The research, carried out by online local services marketplace Bidvine.com showed that of the 2,319 small British companies polled, a staggering 35% didn’t know what the auto-enrolment scheme was and 43% admitted that the extra expense of contributing to their existing employees pensions would put constraints on hiring new staff in the future.
This new legislation forces all businesses in the UK to contribute to their employee’s pensions, with the deadline for small businesses to sign up by February the 1st 2018. All employees will be automatically enrolled into the scheme, unless they choose to opt out. Business owners and directors that do not sign up to the auto-enrolment scheme face hefty fines and even imprisonment after the deadline has passed.
In a bid to find out more about the information and support given to small businesses about auto-enrolment, Bidvine.com asked participants what they thought. 65% said that there had not been enough information or support given, while the rest (35%) said that they had received adequate information and support about the scheme.
More worryingly, 66% of those polled didn’t know when the deadline to sign up was, with nearly a third (31%) stating that auto-enrolment should be optional instead of compulsory. Many UK companies have already started contributing to their employee’s pensions, but all remaining UK businesses will have to sign up by February 2018.
Bidvine.com co-founder, Russ Morgan said,
“We wanted to get insight into what small businesses think about auto-enrolment seeing as it’s going to affect every employer in the UK. We were astonished to discover that many didn’t even know what it is!
“We were pleased to see that most business owners agree that auto-enrolment is a good idea, however it is slightly worrying that 43% said the extra cost will affect hiring new employees – something the government may have to consider in the future as it may affect employment.”