When it's happening
The employer duties started being introduced in stages from October 2012. The date the employer duties first apply for each employer is known as their 'staging date'.
Identifying the staging date
Employers need to identify their 'staging date' to determine when their duties first apply.
It's based on the number of people in their largest Pay As You Earn (PAYE) scheme on 1 April 2012. Any changes to the size of the workforce after 1 April 2012 won't affect the staging date.
Larger employers generally have their staging date earlier than smaller employers.
Small employers can choose a separate staging date.
Small employers are defined as those with less than 50 workers on 1 April 2012 who are part of a PAYE scheme with more than 50 people in it.
Other PAYE structures
- The staging date for employers with less than 30 people in their PAYE scheme is based on the last two characters of their PAYE reference.
- The staging date for employers with more than one PAYE scheme is determined by the largest PAYE scheme.
- The staging date for employers who share a PAYE scheme is based on the total size of that PAYE scheme.
- The staging date for employers with no PAYE scheme is 1 April 2017.
- New employers with PAYE income first payable between April 2012 and September 2017 have separate staging dates.
Advising employers of their staging date
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) will tell employers when their staging date is twelve months before their staging date and send a reminder three months before their staging date. Here's an example of what the letter will look like.
TPR will also tell larger employers when their staging date is 18 months before their staging date.
Bringing forward the staging date
Employers can choose to bring their staging date forward to coincide with other key company dates, such as end of year accounting. There's a list of available dates provided by TPR. Full details of the dates available can also be found in our staging dates table.
Employers who want to bring their staging date forward must notify TPR at least one calendar month before the new chosen staging date.
Published April 2014
For professional advisers only