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Children’s nursery and director ordered to pay £8,200 for misleading TPR and avoiding paying pensions for their staff

Ref: PN19-48

Issued: Wednesday 20 November 2019

A pre-school nursery and its main director have been ordered to pay £8,200 for failing to comply with their pension duties and for misleading TPR by falsely claiming staff had been put into a pension.

At Brighton Magistrates’ Court on 20 November 2019, Merseyside-based Sulouste Ltd, which trades as Tiny Hearts Day Nursery, was sentenced for wilfully failing to enrol staff into a pension scheme and the director, Christine Moore, for providing TPR with false and misleading information.

The defendants pleaded guilty to the two charges at the same court on 13 November 2019.

In a false declaration of compliance, Mrs. Moore told TPR that her company had automatically enrolled 13 nursery staff.

However, after an alert from a whistleblower and an investigation by TPR, it emerged that while a pension scheme had been set up, no staff had been automatically enrolled.

Sentencing the company and Mrs 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.”

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.”

Sulouste Ltd, which is based in Waterloo, Merseyside, pleaded guilty to wilfully failing to comply with its automatic enrolment duties under section 45 of the Pensions Act 2008. Mrs Moore, 60, of Merseyside, who is the main director of Sulouste Ltd, pleaded guilty to recklessly providing TPR with false and misleading information. 

Judge Szagun fined Mrs 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.

Notes for editors

  1. The maximum sentence for each charge at a magistrates’ court is an unlimited fine.
  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 TPR’s functions under Part 3 of the Pensions Act 2004 only).

Ciara Bridge-Butler

Media Officer (AE)
01273 662018

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