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Recruitment agency admits misleading TPR and avoiding workplace pension duties

Ref: PN19-46

Issued: Thursday 14 November 2019

A recruitment agency and its managing director have pleaded guilty to misleading The Pensions Regulator (TPR) by falsely claiming staff had been put into a workplace pension. 

Hertfordshire-based SKL Recruitment Ltd and managing director Linus (known as Lee) Kadzere admitted wilfully failing to comply with their workplace pension duties and recklessly providing false information to TPR when they appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on 13 November.

In a false declaration of compliance, Kadzere told TPR his company had automatically enrolled 22 staff.

However, following whistleblowing reports from staff and an investigation by TPR, it emerged 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: “Staff who are eligible for automatic enrolment trust their employer to do the right thing so they are given the opportunity to save. TPR will not stand by if an employer does not meet their responsibilities and we will take action to make sure workers get the pensions they are entitled to.

“While the majority of employers do the right thing, 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, a specialist agency providing workers in the care sector based in Edinburgh Mews, Bushey, Hertfordshire, and Mr Kadzere, 54, from Harrow in Middlesex, 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.

Both will be sentenced on 17 December at Brighton Magistrates’ Court.

Notes to editors

  1. The maximum sentence for each charge in 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).

 

Press contacts

Ciara Bridge-Butler

Media Officer (AE)
pressoffice@tpr.gov.uk
01273 662018

Matt Adams

Media Relations Manager
pressoffice@tpr.gov.uk
01273 662086

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