Auto Enrolment for Care Workers
Automatic enrolment for workplace pensions has helped many employees make provision for their retirement, with employers and government also contributing to make a larger pension pot.
The law states that employers must automatically enrol workers into a workplace pension if they are aged between 22 and State Pension Age and earn more than minimum earning threshold. The minimum threshold has remained fixed at £10,000 since 6 April 2014. The employee must also work in the UK and not be a member of a qualifying work pension scheme. Employees can opt-out of joining the pension scheme if they wish.
These rules apply if you directly employ a care worker to provide you with care and support, often called a personal assistant or a personal care assistant. It is important to note that you will be classed as an employer whether or not you pay using money provided by your local authority or the NHS in the form of direct payments or a personal budget to pay your personal care assistant, or if you use your own money.
The main exception to this rule is if the care worker is provided by an agency, and the agency pays the personal care assistant’s National Insurance contributions. If this is the case, then the agency will be responsible for the automatic enrolment requirements.