Pensions Regulator warns hospitality industry to act

By Lauren Houghton contact

- Last updated on GMT

Executive director of Automatic Enrolment at the Pension Regulator Charles Counsell
Executive director of Automatic Enrolment at the Pension Regulator Charles Counsell

Related tags: Employment, Pension

The Pensions Regulator is urging hotels and restaurants to act now to ready themselves for automatic enrolment, following the publication of the regulator’s first quarterly compliance bulletin.

The regulator has underlined the importance of not waiting until the last minute to enrol staff into a work place pension scheme. It stresses that the hospitality industry is one that particularly needs to leave plenty of time to ensure its workers are enrolled.

The legislation means employers have to assess each of their staff to find out who is eligible for enrolment. This can be a difficult task for employers in the hospitality sector, as they employ greater numbers of part time and seasonal workers.

It is not the first time that concern over the industry’s preparation has appeared, with BigHospitality recently reporting on the ‘concerning’ lack of awareness​ of the upcoming pension changes.

Risk of non-compliance

The Pensions Regulator fears that if hospitality employers leave enrolment too late, they could risk a failure to meet deadlines, which risks non-compliance which can be a cost to the business.

Executive director of Automatic Enrolment at the Pension Regulator Charles Counsell said: ‘I would urge employers in the hospitality sector, especially those with part time and seasonal workers, to make sure they are not caught out by failing to leave enough time.  A last minute rush could lead to mistakes and risks non-compliance.  All the information is on our website and employers should also consider whether they will need help from an adviser to meet their automatic enrolment duties.’

The warning the regulator have issued comes in the wake of the publication of its first quarterly compliance bulletin, which shows how many times the regulator has had to use its powers. The bulletin shows that most employer comply without need for this, but the Pension Regulator expects to see a rise in the need to use powers as deadlines approach.

Advice

The Pensions Regulator has advised that operators should make sure they have accurate and up-to-date information about their staff, to help when assessing to see whether they should be enrolled. It has also urged employers to automate their processes. They must also discover their staging datem which is set in law.

Over 17,000 large and medium sized employers have automatically enrolled their employees, with tens of thousands of smaller employers expected to act in the upcoming months.

Employers can visit the Pensions Regulator website at http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk​ for more information, and also check out BigHospitality’s auto-enrolment checklist​ for the industry. 

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