Small Rural Businesses Urged To Act Now On Auto Enrolment

27th September 2016

Rural businesses, including farmers, tradesmen and other rural employers across the region, have been urged to seek advice and act now so that they are fully prepared and ready for the auto enrolment pension legislation change. Under the new law, UK employers will need to provide a qualified automatic enrolment pension scheme for eligible employees.

As of April 2017 every employer in the UK, including farmers and those who employ people to work for their rural businesses, must ensure certain staff are put onto a pension scheme and contribute towards it.

Jessica Card, a senior rural practice surveyor at George F. White, said: “The auto enrolment legislation change presents a major challenge for many small businesses across the North East. There will be a significant number of small employers, including farmers, farm businesses and rural tradesmen, who will think that the legislation will not apply to them or they can choose to opt out of the scheme. This is not the case and we strongly advise that any small business employer seeks expert guidance on this matter.”

Failure to comply with the Pension Regulator and the new legislation could leave farmers, and other small businesses, facing a £400 fine, and daily fines between £50 to £10,000 depending on the number of staff employers have. Every employer will have received a letter from the Pensions Regulator reminding them to set up their workplace pension scheme by a set date, which is based on specific criteria each individual business meets.

Jessica added: “Many of our clients are small rural businesses including farmers, those with farm businesses, seasonal employees and rural tradesmen. We are working closely with them to ensure they comply with the new law. It’s vital that these businesses have a suitable pension scheme in place to enrol eligible employees which is why, for our clients, we’ve set up their workplace pension schemes, advising them on which staff members to enrol and how much it would cost. Liaising on their behalf with the Pension Regulator and Provider, we’re also handling the payroll side of things, deducting the correct workplace pension contribution accordingly. It means clients can rest easy that everything is in hand, managed by us, and they’re fully compliant to the new pension law. To all small businesses out there – please don’t bury your head in the sand, leave auto enrolment to the last minute or, worse still, ignore it – act now!”

If you would like more information on how George F. White can help you and your business with pension auto enrolment, please contact 01361 883488 or

Recent News