Increased workload top auto-enrolment concern

Two-thirds of respondents are concerned that pensions auto-enrolment will increase workloads for their HR and payroll departments, according to research by recruitment firm Hays.

The research surveyed more than 400 employers which attended a series of seminars held by Hays in partnership with Barclays Corporate and Employer Solutions, and the National Employment Savings Trust (Nest).

The research also found:

  • Communicating changes to their employees was also a concern for 57%, followed by the development of new IT systems and data migration (36%).
  • One in ten respondents (11%) expected to take on additional staff to handle the extra work.
  • 58% of respondents felt they are exactly on track for auto-enrolment, while 10% believed they were further along than they thought before attending the seminar.
  • 34% of respondents have not started the process yet and nearly half (49%) are still in the strategy development phase.

Steve Heard, director at Hays, said: “These results show that employers feel well informed about what auto-enrolment means for them, and despite their concerns about increased workloads, the majority feel they are on track in their preparations.

“Although there is still some way to go for some organisations, it is reassuring that the vast majority (96%) of people attending the seminars felt more confidant about their obligations under auto-enrolment following the seminars.”

Graham Vidler, director of communications and engagement at Nest, added: “Nest’s own research supports Hays’ findings that communicating changes to workers is a concern for many employers.

“Our experience with large employers suggests it can take anywhere up to 18 months to get ready and arming [themselves] with as much information as possible is critical.

“With plenty to think about when considering how to implement automatic-enrolment, our message is start early and plan ahead.”