First prosecution for deliberate AE avoidance hits bus firm chief

The managing director of a Greater Manchester bus firm is being prosecuted by The Pensions Regulator for deliberately not putting staff into a workplace pension.

Stotts Tours (Oldham) Limited managing director Alan Stott is accused of either consenting or conniving in the bus company’s offence, or allowing the offence to be committed by neglect.

Stotts Tours (Oldham) is also accused of the offence, which relates to failing to comply with the law on automatic enrolment in respect of 36 members of staff.

Both Stott and Stotts tours have been summonsed to appear at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on 4 October 2017, in what is the first prosecution under auto-enrolment legislation. They will face eight charges of wilfully failing to comply with the company’s duties under section 3(2) of the Pensions Act 2008, contrary to section 45 of the Act in the case of Stotts Tours (Oldham) and contrary to section 46 of the Act in the case of Stott.

The offences can be tried in a crown court or in a magistrates’ court. In a crown court the maximum sentence is 2 years’ imprisonment. In a magistrates’ court, the maximum sentence is an unlimited fine.