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REC calls for a common staging date for new Pensions regulations

REC calls for a common staging date for new Pensions regulations

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) is calling on the Government to agree on a common date for all recruitment agencies to automatically enrol agency workers onto a qualifying pensions scheme, a requirement of the 2008 Pensions Act.

Anne Fairweather, the RECs Head of Public Policy said: The current proposals are to introduce the requirement to automatically enrol workers by payroll size over three years from 2012. This risks creating significant distortions in the recruitment market.

It will be confusing for workers who may work through several recruitment agencies at the same time and experience varying automatic enrolment dates. It will also create difficulties in the procurement supply chain for recruitment agencies where second tier suppliers provide staff via master or neutral vendors.

In order to reduce the administrative burden and ensure there is a level playing field between agencies, the REC is calling for the automatic enrolment measures to be applied to the temporary staffing sector at the same time.

As well as a common staging date, the REC is also calling for:

Proposals to reduce the administrative burden for businesses directly employing accidental jobholders must also be extended to recruitment businesses engaging agency workers
The extension of the 19 day rule which will delay the period at which the agency will have to pass contributions to the pension scheme
The Pensions Regulator to co-operate with other Government agencies such as HMRC, the Gangmaster Licensing Authority and the BIS Employment Agency Standards inspectorate to enforce the regulations effectively and
Clarity on why records need to be kept for six years when the Pensions Regulator can only make investigations going back 12 months.

Fairweather concluded: The REC believes that the practical application of the automatic enrolment regulations to the temporary agency work market, were not properly considered before or during the passage of the Pensions Act 2008 and it is only now that these issues are being given due consideration. This is of great concern as the specificities of the agency work market make the automatic enrolment procedures particularly burdensome on REC members.
RECs submission is available from our website at http://www.rec.uk.com/about-recruitment/externalrelations/campaigns/pensions

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