A bus company and its managing director will have to pay more than £60,000 after they admitted trying to deliberately avoid giving their staff workplace pensions.
In November, Stotts Tours (Oldham) and Alan Stott pleaded guilty to a total of 16 offences of wilfully failing to comply with the law on workplace pensions – the first such prosecution by The Pensions Regulator (TPR).
They appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court for sentencing. Stotts Tours (Oldham) was ordered to pay a £27,000 fine, £7,400 costs and a £120 victim surcharge. Alan Stott was ordered to pay a £4,455 fine and a £120 victim surcharge.
This is on top of the £14,400 in civil fines that the employer already owes for failing to comply with the law on automatic enrolment.
Stotts Tours (Oldham) must also pay an estimated £10,000 in backdated pension contributions for its staff, as well as paying all ongoing contributions that fall due, or they will face further enforcement action from TPR.
District Judge Teresa Szagun said: “Initially Mr Stott’s attitude was to bury his head in the sand. This later left him in a position where he was out of his depth.”
Darren Ryder, TPR’s Director of Automatic Enrolment, said: “Compliance with automatic enrolment remains very high and so it’s extremely disappointing that a tiny minority of employers continue to flout the law by denying their staff the pensions they are entitled to.
“This case shows the cost to employers that failing to comply with automatic enrolment can bring – a bill of tens of thousands of pounds, a criminal conviction and a damaged reputation.”
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