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Recruitment agency ordered to pay £10,890 for misleading TPR and avoiding workplace pension duties

Ref: PN19-54

Issued: Tuesday 17 December 2019

A recruitment agency and its managing director have been ordered to pay £10,890 for avoiding their automatic enrolment duties and misleading The Pensions Regulator (TPR) by falsely claiming staff had been put into a workplace pension.

At Brighton Magistrates’ Court on 17 December 2019, Hertfordshire-based SKL Professional Recruitment Agency Ltd and managing director Linus (known as Lee) Kadzere were sentenced for wilfully failing to comply with their workplace pension duties and providing false information to TPR.

In a false declaration of compliance, Mr 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.

Sentencing the company and Mr Kadzere, District Judge Teresa Szagun said Mr Kadzere was “reckless” in his approach to his responsibilities and that “failure to comply has a detrimental economic impact not only for the individuals concerned but for society as a whole.”

TPR Director of Automatic Enrolment Darren Ryder said: “TPR will not stand by if an employer wilfully fails to meet their responsibilities towards their staff - we will take action to make sure workers get the pensions they are due.”

SKL, a specialist agency providing workers in the care sector based in Edinburgh Mews, Bushey, Hertfordshire, and Mr Kadzere, 54, from 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.

Judge Szagun fined Mr Kadzere £1,300 plus a victim surcharge of £120 and SKL £6,000 plus a victim surcharge of £120 and prosecution costs of £3,350.

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).

Press contacts

Ciara Bridge-Butler

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

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