Pensions Regulator  

Nursery fined for auto-enrolment failings

Nursery fined for auto-enrolment failings

A children’s nursery and its director have been ordered to pay £8,200 by the Pensions Regulator for failing to enrol its staff in a workplace pension and misleading the regulator.

At Brighton Magistrates Court yesterday (November 21), Sulouste Ltd, which trades as Tiny Hearts Day Nursery, was found to have failed to enrol its staff into a pension scheme and the main director, Christine Moore, was reprimanded for providing TPR with false and misleading information.

Both had pleaded guilty to the charges at the same court earlier this month (November 13).

Ms Moore had previously told the TPR that her company had automatically enrolled 13 nursery staff into a pension scheme.

But a whistleblower and a subsequent TPR investigation revealed that while a pension scheme had been set up, no staff had been automatically enrolled.

Judge Teresa Szagun fined Ms Moore £833 and an additional £83 victim’s surcharge was added. 

The company was fined £4,915 and ordered to pay a victim’s surcharge of £170 together with prosecution costs of £2,200.

Judge Szagun said: “The mistake of failing to comply has a detrimental impact not only on the individual employee but also on society as a whole.”

Darren Ryder, director of automatic enrolment at TPR, said: “This outcome is another clear warning to employers that they must comply with their automatic enrolment duties and ensure staff receive the pension they are entitled to.

“While the vast majority of employers do the right thing, we will take action against the small number that flout the law and risk the retirements of savers.”

In a separate case from November 13, Vincent Bootes, a businessman taken to court for allegedly failing to pass on information about his companies' pension arrangements, had pleaded not guilty.

The regulator is prosecuting Mr Bootes for failing to comply with two notices issued under Section 72, which require pension schemes, employers and third parties to provide TPR with information and documents relevant to its functions.

A trial will take place at Brighton Magistrates Court on April 14, 2019.

amy.austin@ft.com

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