Can an employer postpone automatic enrolment duties on multiple occasions in relation to the same worker?

Postponement allows an employer to delay duties for eligible jobholders for up to three months.  The employer can apply postponement:

  •   to existing workers on the staging date; 
  •   to new workers on starting employment after the staging date; and/or 
  •   when someone becomes an eligible jobholder after the staging date.

An employer can use postponement again the next time duties are triggered in relation to a worker, as long as he or she is not an eligible jobholder on the deferral date (the last day of the postponement window).  

For example, an employer applies a three-month postponement period, with a deferral date of 31 January, to a worker because a period of overtime in November took his qualifying earnings over the earnings threshold, triggering automatic enrolment.  On 31 January the employer reassesses the worker, who has not been paid for any overtime in January; qualifying earnings do not exceed the monthly qualifying earnings threshold so he is not an eligible jobholder.  The worker is paid a bonus in February, which again triggers auto-enrolment.  The employer can apply postponement again for up to three months.  

There is no limit to the number of times that an employer can apply postponement.