Auto-enrolment is a daunting prospect for even the most prepared businesses, and with staging dates for small and medium sized businesses approaching fast, it’s worth looking at how the scheme will affect those with short-term or zero hour staff.

Temporary Staff:

Staff who are eligible for auto enrolment must be enrolled, irrespective of how long their contract is. Staff are eligible if they:

  • are aged between 22 and State Pension age
  • earn more than £10,000 a year
  • work in the UK.

If you do need to enrol temporary staff, there are a few things to consider that will affect the cost of the plan. These include the proportion of workers who will be enrolled, the average length of scheme membership and the average level of contributions. If you have a high turnover of temporary staff, they may push the cost of the scheme up for the rest of your employees, so it may be worth considering enrolling them in a separate scheme.

Zero Hour Contracts:

Recent studies have shown an increase of zero hour contracts, with 700,000 zero hour workers now making up 2.3% of the workforce. Eligibility for the scheme is predominantly based on pay. If a worker earns more than £787 in a single month, they must be enrolled. If they earn above £473 per month, they can choose to enrol, but the enrolment is not automatic.

To learn more about auto enrolment, or to find out how it affects your agency workers, contact us today on 01453 755330 or by email us at

Tricia Hay

Tricia Hay is Owner, Director of First Base Employment Limited