Auto-enrolment—who needs to be enrolled?
Produced in partnership with Wyn Derbyshire of gunnercooke LLP
Auto-enrolment—who needs to be enrolled?

The following Pensions guidance note Produced in partnership with Wyn Derbyshire of gunnercooke LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Auto-enrolment—who needs to be enrolled?
  • Workers
  • Special categories of employment
  • Dual status workers
  • Categories of worker
  • Jobholders
  • Eligible jobholders
  • Non-eligible jobholders
  • Entitled workers
  • Table of categories of worker
  • more


The auto-enrolment regime, established under Part 1 of the Pensions Act 2008 (PenA 2008), requires employers to:

  1. procure the automatic enrolment of workers satisfying certain criteria either in:

    1. workplace pension arrangements which meet at least minimum standards specified under the legislation (‘qualifying schemes’), or

    2. the scheme established by the government, known as the National Employment Savings Trust (‘NEST’), and

  2. permit other workers to join qualifying schemes (either with or without mandatory employer contributions, depending upon the specific nature of the qualifying scheme and the actual circumstances of the workers’ employment)

The auto-enrolment legislation recognises various categories of worker and treats each category differently. Employers should ensure that they correctly identify which category each of their workers belongs to, so that they understand their auto-enrolment duty in respect of each worker.

The Pensions Regulator has issued guidance to help employers comply with their duties under the auto-enrolment regime ('TPR Auto-enrolment Guidance'), including guidance on the different categories of worker and how to identify each category.

Note that:

  1. since 1 April 2015, a number of exceptions to the auto-enrolment duty have allowed employers to choose whether to enrol or re-enrol workers rather than requiring them to do so automatically. The government also introduced two new exceptions from 6 April 2016 and a further exception