Employing seasonal workers – do you need to provide a pension?

Employing staff on irregular hours or incomes

Automatic enrolment duties apply to any staff that are aged 22 to state pension age and earn over £192 a week or £833 a month; they must be put into a pension scheme which you must contribute towards.

Automatic enrolment duties also apply to you even if you employ short-term, seasonal, temporary or other staff who are not on regular hours or incomes, who might not at first meet the above criteria, but you pay them through a payroll.

Do the new duties apply to you?

Even if you employ short-term, seasonal, temporary staff or other staff who are not on regular hours or incomes (eg fruit pickers, labourers, etc) and you pay them through a payroll, then automatic enrolment duties will apply to you.

Who do you need to enrol?

From your staging date, you must assess the staff to work out who to put into a pension scheme that can be used for automatic enrolment based on their ages and how much they earn. Even if the number of people you employee varies, or have fluctuating hours and pay, you need to assess them individually each time the payroll is run.

When to enrol and pay contributions for staff that work irregular hours or earn flexible incomes

After your staging date, staff who work irregular hours or earn flexible incomes will be enrolled the first time they earn over the automatic enrolment threshold of £192 a week or £833 per month if paid monthly.

Once staff have been enrolled, you must pay regular contributions into their pension scheme. If the staff member’s earnings fall below £112 per week or £486 per month, you may stop paying contributions unless the rules of the pension scheme they have enrolled into require them to continue. You should check with the pension scheme what their rules are.

What if you are an employment agency?

If you are an employment agency supplying staff to other businesses and you are responsible for paying these staff, then you are the employer and are responsible for fulfilling the automatic enrolment duties relating to these staff.

What is available to help you?

Delay working out who to put into a pension scheme

If you have temporary or short-term staff who won’t be working for you for longer than three months you may decide to postpone assessing them. You will not be required to put them into a pension scheme or make contributions to the scheme during the postponement period unless they expressly ask to be put into a scheme.

At the end of the postponement period, you will enrol any staff who are still working for you if they meet the age and earnings thresholds.

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