A micro-business is typically one with 5 or fewer employees. Even more typically many are going to have the situation that the only employees are also Directors of the business. Given the small scale of these enterprises it is no surprise that it is at this end of things that employers are likely to struggle more with the concept and application of Pensions Automatic Enrolment.
It is therefore encouraging that Henry Tapper reports in his blog that The Pensions Regulator looks ready to take a more relaxed view about the registration of micro employers into Auto Enrolment.
The current view seems to be that if an employer has no eligible jobholders (and no entitled jobholders or non-eligible jobholders looking to join the workplace pension scheme) then you are not expected to set up pension arrangements for the sake of it. Instead if eligible workers turn up in the future then arrangements will have to be made from that point.
What the process for that is remains to be seen but we already have an online route for the situation where there are no workers and so it is assumed that will be the way to go.
See our handy tool to tell you whether your business or organisation can avoid registering under auto enrolment. Click here
Henry Tapper reports that as many as 35% of the 1.3 million employers who have still to reach their Staging Date have no workers and so as many as 460,000 could be taking themselves out of the firing line.
That still leaves over 800,000 that need to get staged over the next couple of years, together with all the businesses formed since April 2012, so no doubt well over 1 million in total.
It is rather scary to hear that the level of new businesses is higher than The Pensions Regulator was expecting, particularly when the industry is scratch its collective heads wondering how assistance is going to be given to the number of small businesses looking for it.