Small firms 'need help with auto-enrolment'

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Many small firms will need support with auto-enrolment

The UK's smaller operators need increased support to be fully prepared for the roll out of auto-enrolment, the Federation of Small Builders (FSB) has argued.

Responding to a new report from the Public Accounts Committee that makes this claim, policy director at the FSB Mike Cherry stated: "These firms do not have HR departments or in-house pensions experts and many will struggle to get to grips with the legislation.

"Our latest research shows that while smaller firms generally believe auto-enrolment will be good for their staff, many are still unclear what they need to do in order to comply."

Mr Cherry went on to add that despite the positivity that has surrounded much of the government's planned launch of auto-enrolment to date, the proper test of the new scheme will be when thousands of small businesses across the UK approach their cut-off date for implementation in the coming months.

It will require a monumental effort to ensure businesses of all sizes are given the help and advice they need to ensure these new systems are put into place with the minimum of fuss and disruption.

However, any failure to ensure that this is the case will not only lead to millions of workers being unable to more effectively save for their future after work, countless businesses could also face sanctions and losses that could leave many in dire straits.

It is therefore essential that all small business operators understand that the introduction of auto-enrolment is something that they will have to face up to sooner rather than later, while the government needs to give employers as much help as possible in the run-up to their live dates.