What If Your Auto Enrolment Person Leaves The Company?
Auto enrolment is difficult enough as it is without having to cope with the stress of dealing with the departure of the member of staff responsible for complying with the new workplace pensions regulations. So how can you ensure you avoid being left at square one by a sudden departure? All is explained here.
Not for the first time I had a small business phone me in a panic last month.
The situation was as follows: The company had begun the auto enrolment process and assigned one member of its admin team to administer the necessary changes. That one person had suddenly left the company. The company was now in a state of panic as its deadline was fast approaching and the owner had no idea where his business stood with its auto enrolment journey. So they called an auto enrolment adviser to solve it all.
Now, we at DAM were of course happy to help and thankfully everything is now on track for this particular small business. They may not have been so lucky, however, as with such short notice there are obvious limitations to what any auto enrolment financial adviser can do and this business was very close to being completed helpless.
There are several ways in which small businesses can avoid ever getting to that stage, and I’m about to describe them.
1. Split the task between more than one member of staff
This may seem an obvious solution given the example I’ve described, but for many small business even this seems unfeasible.
It is definitely worth it, however, as it provides a bit of insurance should one of your auto enrolment staff depart the business. Suddenly that scenario becomes manageable and the other auto enrolment person was know where the company stood in its auto enrolment journey and would be able to continue the work without much difficulty.
Splitting the auto enrolment workload is also hugely beneficial as it can avoid the departure of any members of staff altogether. It has been estimated that complying auto enrolment can take 103 working days of staff time so it is quite clearly a massive undertaking and involves some amount of stress for those tasked with it. This is why so many businesses are turning to advisers to help them with auto enrolment, but for those still keen to do it in-house, splitting the workload between two or more members of the team splits the associated stress and could prevent any members of staff finding it too much and deciding to leave.
At the business in the example, the reason for the auto enrolment person leaving was auto enrolment itself. The employee had found the task too stressful and decided enough was enough.
2. Establish a process and write it down
By establishing a clear auto enrolment process, a business should be able to break auto enrolment down into little simple steps that mean any member of staff could theoretically step in at any stage and know what was needed next and be able to do it.
This can only work with clear instructions and information written out – or even better stored online. By having everything auto enrolment related charted and noted somewhere on your servers, the process can continue no matter who is logged on.
It’s all very well having your auto enrolment plan stored in an employee’s head. But if that employee leaves then the plan goes with them!
3. The owner should keep themselves updated
While it would be good to have many members of a business’ workforce kept in the loop regarding the auto enrolment process, this is sometime simply not practical. The owner, however, should at least be kept informed and hold regular meetings with those responsible. These meetings will let the owner know what the next stages are should those responsible leave.
More importantly, though, regular meetings will let an owner see quickly on if an employee tasked with auto enrolment is getting stress. By spotting that early on, the owner can take steps to reduce the stress for their employee and hopefully avoid an unnecessary departure.
4. Use an auto enrolment adviser
This is the option that most business try to avoid as they think it will be cheaper to do auto enrolment in-house, but it can actually work out cheaper to use a financial adviser and it means that the risks associated with the potential departures of key members of staff from the business will go away.
By using an auto enrolment adviser such as DAM, the business owner can kept as up-to-date as he or she likes, without having to worry too much themselves about the practicalities of the auto enrolment process. Your adviser will be there from start to finish no matter what happens and many businesses like the security that offers. Not only that, but an auto enrolment adviser will know the process like the palm of their hand so things will go a lot more smoothly for everyone involved and the word ‘stress’ won’t even come into the picture.
By doing auto enrolment in-house, the process could take 103 working days of a business’ time. By using an adviser the cost may actually be cheaper than paying wages for those 103 days.
Being able to avoid that last minute panic trip to an adviser by going to one from the start is probably worth it in itself.
So that’s my post on how to avoid the major stress when an employee in charge of auto enrolment leaves a business. I hope these four tips have helped you consider ways in which to avoid such stress and I welcome any further questions in the comments section below.
Photo credit goes to mikecogh