By Claire West
The The Recruitment and Employment Confederation's official response to the Government’s Pension Reforms Review has re-emphasised the specific issues that auto-enrolement raises for temporary staffing agencies.
Flagging up some of the practical issues raised in the submission, REC Solicitor and Commercial Advisor Lorraine Laryea says:
"The REC has consistently called on the Government to review how the new obligations to automatically enrol workers into a pension scheme will impact the temporary jobs market. Our central request is that there is a qualifying period of 6 months before any worker is put into a pensions scheme. Where workers are on temporary assignments for just a few weeks, for example whilst they are looking for a new job, the bureaucracy involved in setting up a new pension scheme for the worker is not off-set by savings benefits."
The REC has been in regular dialogue on this issue for a number of years with the Department for Work and Pensions as well as with pensions providers. Commenting on the next steps and the potential implications for the industry, REC Director of External Relations, Tom Hadley says:
“We all agree that it is important to encourage more people to save, but the way that the proposed scheme applies to temporary workers needs to be simplified. These reforms are very complex and we are determined to work with Government to get them right, so that longer-term temporary workers have access to saving, without creating unnecessary bureaucracy for agencies where individuals are only on short assignments. The next few months will be crucial and we are hopeful that the Government will take on board the industry’s proposals."
In its official submission the REC has called for:
A qualifying period, before workers need to be automatically enrolled into pensions saving.
The option for a worker to 'opt out' of pensions saving before they are enrolled.
A common staging date for all recruitment agencies - regardless of size.
Maintaining NEST (the National Employment Savings Trust) as a pensions scheme which all employers can access.
Further consideration about how an employer can be helped to choose the right pensions scheme for their workers.