Tiny Hearts Day Nursery ordered to pay £8,200 for failing to pay staff pensions

Childcare provider Sulouste, which trades as Tiny Hearts Day Nursery, has been ordered to pay £8,200 to 13 employees for failure to comply with pension duties, the Pensions Regulator (TPR) has ruled.

The sentencing was held at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on 20 November 2019 after the defendants pleaded guilty to the two charges on 13 November 2019.

Director Christine Moore and the Merseyside-based organisation were both charged with failing to undertake the auto-enrolment responsibilities outlined under sections 45 and 46 of the Pensions Act 2008, and with providing false information to TPR, a separate offence under section 80 of the Pensions Act 2004.

The judge fined Sulouste £4,915 and ordered it to pay a victim’s surcharge of £170, together with prosecution costs of £2,200. Moore was fined £833 and with an additional £83 victim’s surcharge. 

The anomaly was discovered when a whistleblower contacted the TPR and a thorough investigation was launched. It found that although a pension scheme had been set up, no staff had been automatically enrolled.

Teresa Szagun, ruling district judge at Brighton Magistrates Court, 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, added: “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.”