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Are you unwittingly an employer?

The new laws on workplace pensions came into effect in 2012 and every UK employer, regardless of the number of people they employ, must comply with the Automatic Enrolment legislation and enrol their eligible employees into a qualifying workplace pension scheme and make payments into it.

The regulations are far reaching and it is possible that some people could unwittingly be caught out, whereby those who engage help around the home may be classified as employing someone for their services.

If you directly employ a carer, nanny, gardener or even a cleaner then the principles are the same and you could well be regarded as an employer, but if their services are provided by an agency that pays them directly or they issue an invoice because they run a legitimate business, then you need not do anything.

There are strict criteria to establish whether or not a qualifying pension scheme should be established, as follows:

First you need to check the age of your ‘employee’. If they are aged 22 or over and under state pension age then they may be eligible. If they meet this criteria and you pay them over £192 per week or £833 per month, then they will be eligible and you will need to provide them with a pension.

It’s unlikely that many people will be affected by this scenario, but if you find yourself in this position or you know someone who could be affected, don’t panic, but seek professional advice as soon as possible, or contact The Pensions Regulator directly. The penalties for non-compliance can be severe so it’s better to check and make sure.

Armstrong Watson Financial Planning can help with your Auto Enrolment obligations. Contact us for advice at any of our office locations.

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