UK’S pensions regulator takes first legal action for failure to enrol staff in workplace pension scheme

A bus company in Greater Manchester and its managing director are due to appear in Brighton Magistrates’ Court for infringing auto-enrolment legislation.

The UK’s Pensions Regulator is taking legal action for the first time against a company it claims deliberately failed to place its employees into a workplace pension scheme.  Stotts Tours (Oldham) Ltd, which is a bus company in Greater Manchester, along with its managing director (MD), are accused of failing to comply with the law on automatic enrolment in relation to 36 members of staff. MD Alan Stott has been charged with either consenting or conniving in such activity or simply neglecting to do anything about it.

Both Stott and the firm will be prosecuted under section 46 and 45 of the Pensions Act 2008 respectively. They state that employers commit an offence if they wilfully fail to make “prescribed arrangements” for jobholders to become “active members of an automatic enrolment scheme with effect from the automatic enrolment date”.

Stott and Stotts Tours have been summonsed to appear at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on 4 October 2107 and will face eight charges of wilfully failing to comply with the company’s duties under section 3(2) of the Pensions Act 2008. The maximum sentence in a magistrate’s court is an unlimited fine, but if offences are tried in a crown court, the maximum penalty is two years’ imprisonment.