Automatic enrolment - first wilful non-compliance conviction

15 November 2017

A bus company and its managing director have been convicted by a court after they deliberately avoided giving their staff workplace pensions.

We reported in September that Stotts Tours (Oldham) should have put 36 members of staff into a workplace pension and begun paying pension contributions from June 2015. The Pensions Regulator (TPR) decided that the company’s failure to comply with the law was deliberate and merited the criminal prosecution of both Stotts Tours (Oldham) and Alan Stott.

This is the first time that The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has launched prosecutions for these offences.

Both Stotts Tours (Oldham) and Mr Stott pleaded guilty to eight counts of wilful failure to comply with the automatic enrolment duty under section 3(2) of the Pensions Act 2008, contrary to section 45(1) of that Act, when their case was heard at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on 10 November 2017.

The case was adjourned for sentencing at the same court on 14 December 2017.

TPR is separately pursuing Stotts Tours (Oldham) for £14,400 in civil fines imposed for non-compliance.

Darren Ryder, TPR’s director of automatic enrolment, said:

“Automatic enrolment is not an option, it is the law. Employers should be in no doubt that if they wilfully refuse to become compliant they could end up with a criminal record and a hefty court bill – and will still have to give their staff the pensions they are due.”

Read the full press release from TPR.