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Recruitment firm to face court for illegally opting staff out of pensions

Ref: PN18-19
Tuesday 3 April 2018

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is to prosecute a national recruitment firm, its directors and some of its senior staff on the suspicion that they illegally opted employees out of their pension scheme.

Workchain Ltd (formerly known as Smart Recruitment UK Ltd) is accused of logging into its workplace pension scheme’s online system using employees’ personal details, to terminate their membership of the scheme. This is contrary to the terms of use of the system, which requires employees to opt out themselves.

Those charged with unauthorised access to a computer programme, contrary to section 1(1) of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 are:

  • Workchain Ltd, which has its head office in Stephensons Way, Derby, Derbyshire
  • Director Phil Tong, 40, of Spend Lane, Ashbourne, Derbyshire
  • Director Adam Hinkley, 39, of Shardlow Road, Alvaston, Derbyshire
  • Hannah Armson, 34, of Heath Lane, Findern, Derbyshire
  • Lisa Coy, 33, of Marylebone Crescent, Mackworth, Derbyshire
  • Martin West, 31, of Jackson Road, Hucknall, Nottinghamshire
  • Robert Tomlinson, 38, of Crosby Close, Forest Town, Nottinghamshire
  • Andrew Thorpe, 33, of Thorpe Street, Burntwood, Staffordshire

This is the first time that TPR has launched prosecutions for this offence.

The defendants have been summonsed to appear at Derby Magistrates’ Court on 7 June 2018.

Editor's notes

  1. A conviction for computer misuse carries a maximum sentence of six months’ imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine in a magistrates’ court, or two years’ imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine if committed to the Crown Court.
  2. TPR is the regulator of work-based pension schemes in the UK. Our statutory objectives are: to protect members’ benefits; to reduce the risk of calls on the Pension Protection Fund (PPF); to promote, and to improve understanding of, the good administration of work-based pension schemes; to maximise employer compliance with automatic enrolment duties; and to minimise any adverse impact on the sustainable growth of an employer (in relation to the exercise of the regulator’s functions under Part 3 of the Pensions Act 2004 only).

Press contacts

James Glover 01273 662098

Matt Adams 01273 662086

pressoffice@thepensionsregulator.gov.uk

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