Linking Payroll with Auto-Enrolment for compliance and cost efficiencies

Established in 1792, WHSmith started out as family-run newsagents before becoming the first retail chain in the world. Having celebrated its 225th anniversary in 2017, and with over 600 stores on the high street and another 600+ stores at airports, train stations, hospitals and motorway services, WHSmith is now one of the UK's leading retail groups and a household name.
The deadlines were tight for December and the input was high. We had great support from the payroll team to ensure it was all processed in time.
Payroll Supervisor WHSmith

Challenges

As new pension auto-enrolment requirements were approaching, WHSmith, who employs over 16,000 people in the UK and internationally, did not have any suitable infrastructure, technology or services that it could deploy to meet obligations and minimise costs.

WHSmith’s workforce is mainly hourly paid on flexible working patterns. Its priorities were to assess who should be enrolled in a pension, make correct payroll deductions and transfer information quickly.

WHSmith examined its options and considered whether it could develop a solution internally. After extensive work, the decision was made to implement a solution for auto-enrolment that is integral to payroll operations, so as to minimise delays in getting people paid accurately and on time.

Solutions

SD Worx deployed an auto-enrolment solution which was well suited to WHSmith’s Payroll processes, ensuring accurate pension entitlement and deductions at the point of payroll.

The solution instigates and tracks all employee communications required for the new pensions legislation. WHSmith’s HR Shared Services team are now able to receive and act on instructions from affected employees quickly and easily using the same self-service solution.

SD Worx also helped WHSmith to maximise its taxation saving by integrating a salary sacrifice element to reduce its total costs of provision of the service, saving a significant amount annually.

Benefits & Impact

  • Legally compliant with the new auto-enrolment legislation
  • Avoided interfacing costs and internal IT development time, by integrating with current payroll processes.
  • Automated timely communication to its employees.
  • Eliminated the need for additional headcount to handle increased administration.
  • Saved additional deployment cost through tax optimisation.

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