Pension auto-enrolment safeguards already in place - July 2012
You may not yet have reached the pension auto-enrolment staging date for your business, but did you know that there are safeguards already in place to protect the pension rights of your staff? Employers who breach these safeguards could be fined up to £50k?
Safeguards aimed at protecting workers who seek to enforce their rights under the pensions auto-enrolment provisions are in force for all employers from 1 July 2012. This is regardless of the employer’s staging date, so even smaller employers whose duty to auto-enrol workers into a qualifying pension scheme will not come into force for some time must comply with the safeguards.
Under the safeguards that apply to all employers from 1 July 2012, employers must not:
• subject workers to any detriment, or dismiss them, because they assert the right to auto-enrol;
• offer workers any inducement to opt out, or give up membership, of a workplace pension scheme;
• make any statement or ask any question during the recruitment process that indicates to a job applicant that recruitment will depend on whether or not he or she opts out of auto-enrolment; or
• cause a jobholder to cease to be an active member of a qualifying pension scheme.
Furthermore if an employee is found to have been dismissed on auto-enrolment grounds this would be classed as an automatically unfair dismissal. There is no minimum length of service required to bring such a claim, so it applies to new employees as well as your existing ones.
Posted on 19 Nov 2016