Two companies admit to lying about staff auto-enrolment

A recruitment agency and nursery operator, along with two of their directors, have admitted lying to The Pensions Regulator (TPR) by falsely claiming staff had been auto-enrolled into workplace pension schemes.

In a hearing at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on 13 November, Hertfordshire-based SKL Recruitment and managing director Linus Kadzere admitted failing to comply with their workplace pension duties and falsely declaring that his company had automatically enrolled 22 staff.

SKL, a specialist agency providing workers in the care sector based in Edinburgh Mews, Bushey, Hertfordshire, and Kadzere pleaded guilty to three charges of wilfully failing to comply with their automatic enrolment duties under section 45 and 46 of the Pensions Act 2008 and one charge each of knowingly or recklessly providing false information to TPR under section 80 of the Pensions Act 2004.

SKL Recruitment’s situation was brought to TPR’s attention following whistleblowing reports from staff.

A subsequent investigation found that although a pension scheme had been set up, staff had not been enrolled and pension contributions deducted from pay had not been paid into the scheme.

TPR director of automatic enrolment, Darren Ryder, said: “Mr Kadzere misled TPR to cover up that he was deliberately denying his staff the pensions they are due. That is a serious offence which we will not tolerate.”

SKL and Kadzere will be sentenced on 17 December at Brighton Magistrates’ Court.

In another case heard on the same day, Merseyside-based Sulouste, which trades as Tiny Hearts Day Nursery, also admitted to wilfully failing to comply with its automatic enrolment responsibilities, while the director, Christine Moore, admitted to providing TPR with false and misleading information.

Moore had told TPR that her company had automatically enrolled 13 nursery staff, whereas in reality no staff had been enrolled in the company scheme.

Sulouste and Moore will be sentenced on 20 November.

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