Jonathan Dowden: SMEs do not have bandwidth to deal with auto-enrolment

In response to the October feature, Auto-enrolment tips for smaller employers from larger firms, the main differentiator between small and large organisations is having the resources to deal with auto-enrolment.

Smaller employers just do not have as much bandwidth to deal with the increased demand on people carrying out the administration associated with auto-enrolment, or the increased time it takes to understand the legislation and communicate it effectively to employees.

The financial burden is also something that small businesses will not always be able to absorb, so the onus is on them to prepare now and review their pricing and cash flow accordingly.

Software can help eliminate this burden, but it is important for organisations to use a solution that is fully integrated into their payroll system and covers every element of the auto-enrolment process. Having to use additional products and tools outside of payroll will only increase the burden on businesses.

Jonathan Dowden is pensions expert at Sage UK