Children’s nursery and director fined £8,200 for failing AE duties

A children’s nursery and director have been ordered to pay £8,200 at Brighton Magistrates’ Court for misleading The Pensions Regulator (TPR) and avoiding paying pensions for their staff.

Merseyside-based Sulouste Ltd, which trades as Tiny Hearts Day Nursery, has been fined for wilfully failing to comply with auto-enrolment rules and not enrolling staff into a pension scheme.

The company’s director, Christine Moore, has been handed a fine for providing TPR with false and misleading information.

The two parties had already pleaded guilty to the two charges on 13 November 2019.

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

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

In a false declaration of compliance, Moore had told TPR that her company had automatically enrolled 13 nursery staff after an alert from a whistleblower.

However, following an investigation by TPR, it was found that although a pension scheme had been set up, no staff had been enrolled into it.

Sentencing the company and Moore, District Judge Teresa 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.”

TPR director of automatic enrolment, Darren Ryder, said that the sentencing was “another” clear warning to employers that they must comply with their automatic enrolment duties.

“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,” said Ryder.

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