DWP | Automatic enrolment: qualitative research with new employers

The Department for Work & Pensions have published our latest qualitative research with new employers (Interim Report, 26 February 2019).

Our qualitative research explores views and experiences of automatic enrolment amongst new employers and their workers.


Automatic enrolment, where employers are required to automatically enrol eligible workers into a qualifying workplace pension scheme, is a response to the issue of millions of people in the UK not saving enough for their retirement. Automatic enrolment was introduced between October 2012 and February 2018, and started with the largest employers in 2012.

DWP commissioned this report to understand the effect of automatic enrolment on employers who took on their first eligible workers after 2012, referred to as ‘newborn’ employers. The research looks at the experiences of this group during the implementation of automatic enrolment. It aims to understand the drivers of behaviour amongst newborn employers and their workers in response to the policy, including in relation to the first minimum contribution increase introduced in April 2018.

This report is an interim output of an ongoing research study. It describes the experiences of 43 newborn employers and of 49 workers enrolled by those employers.

Research value

The research findings will be used to:

  • build on understanding of the impact of automatic enrolment on newborn employers, to inform and improve the design and delivery of the policy
  • inform DWP’s wider ongoing evaluation of automatic enrolment