New Year’s resolution….

Get rid of the admin headache!

auto-enrolment photo1

Pension auto-enrolment represents the biggest pension’s shake-up in decades. The government, in a determined attempt to increase the number of people saving for their retirement, has turned the pension world upside-down; under auto-enrolment, you’ll no longer have to opt-in to a pension in order to start saving for retirement…instead you’ll have to out-opt if you don’t want to save. The thinking, of course, is that the human tendency towards apathy will result in a larger portion of the working population simply not getting around to opting themselves out of the pension, thereby defaulting themselves to the position of being a pension saver rather than a non-saver.

Unfortunately, as we have seen over the past 15 months (auto-enrolment began in October 2012 for the UK largest employers) auto-enrolment does place a greater amount of administrative burden at the feet of the employer since they are charged with the task of making all the arrangements – the employee quite literally has to do nothing in order to start saving into a pension. To compound the issue, 2014 is also the year in which many SME’s will begin with auto-enrolment for their employees, and crucially, your typical SME will not necessarily have the in-house HR and legal expertise that is often at the disposal of the larger corporations that began introducing auto-enrolment back in 2012 and 2013. When we consider that the vast majority of recruitment businesses fall into the SME category, we can clearly see that 2014 will be a challenging year for recruiters.

Thankfully, however, whilst this burden is something that the majority of employers have no choice about, this isn’t necessarily the case for all those employers that also happen to be recruitment businesses. Recruitment agencies have something of a unique opportunity; that being the option to “opt-out” of pension auto-enrolment via opting-out of being the employer of their contractors!

In fact, many agencies have already gone down this path. With the exception of “high-street” temping agencies, it’s now quite unusual for a bona fide contract/freelance agency to operate its own PAYE solution for its candidates, preferring instead to engage with limited company contractors via either their own limited company or via an umbrella employment solution.

This isn’t always the case, however, and for one reason or another there are still plenty of agencies out there that operate a PAYE payroll solution, even though it causes them more workload and also, in all probability, is not the best option for the candidates actually using it…and it is these agencies that Liberty Bishop are keen to help!

If you’re an agency that might fall into this latter group, and would like to explore the idea of “opting-out” of being the employer, why not give Liberty Bishop a call? We generate virtually all of our business via recommendation from our partner agencies and have over 18 years’ worth of experience in helping agencies manage their contract candidates. We’ll help you streamline your business and cut back on the administrative burden, and by improving the net retentions that your candidates receive we’ll also give you happier contractors too!

Liberty Bishop are a specialist payroll and accountancy provider for contract and freelance workers. Please feel free to give us a call on 01582 461 444 if you think we might be of help to you.

Posted by Stuart Marquis on January 7th, 2014

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