Workers will have to be enrolled from their automatic enrolment date. This is the first date the worker meets all the criteria to be an eligible jobholder - for example, the employer's staging date, the date an employee joins, or an employee's 22nd birthday. The employer then has a one-month window in which automatic enrolment must be completed.
Employers will be allowed to impose a waiting period of up to three months before having to apply the automatic enrolment procedures. This waiting period removes the duty to enroll very short time employees, such as seasonal staff employed over Christmas, and will allow employers to align the automatic enrolment process with other processes such as payroll. However, jobholders will still be able to opt-in during the waiting period in order to speed up their pension saving.
Although it is compulsory for the employer to automatically enroll eligible jobholders, it is not compulsory for the jobholder to remain a member of the pension scheme. Jobholders have a one-month window in which they can opt out of membership by giving an opt-out notice to the employer. The worker is then treated as if they had never been a member of the pension scheme, and any pension contributions already made by the worker are refunded. In order to prevent jobholders feeling pressurized to opt out, opt-out notices will generally only be available from the pension scheme provider - not from the employer.