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Recruitment bosses plead guilty after posing as staff to stop workers’ pension payments

Spotlight on charges 700x450.jpgTwo directors and five senior staff of a national recruitment agency face sentencing after they were found impersonating temporary workers in order to opt them out of their workplace pension scheme.

Workchain directors Phil Tong and Adam Hinkley and five senior staff were prosecuted by The Pensions Regulator for an offence of unauthorised access to computer data. It is the first time TPR has brought prosecutions for that offence.

The five senior staff have been named by TPR as financial controller Hannah Armson, HR and compliance officer Lisa Neal and branch managers Martin West, Robert Tomlinson and Andrew Thorpe.

All of the defendants pleaded guilty when they appeared at Derby Magistrates’ Court yesterday. Sentencing is expected on 28 June.

According to TPR, Tong and Hinkley encouraged the senior staff to get temporary workers out of the Nest workplace pension scheme so the company would not have to make pension payments on their behalf.

A joint investigation by TPR, the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate, Derbyshire Constabulary and Nottinghamshire Constabulary started after Nest reported concerns to TPR in 2014.

TPR automatic enrolment director Darren Ryder says: “Workchain’s directors saw denying their temporary workers pensions as a quick and easy way to save the company money. Both they and their senior staff thought nothing of misusing Nest’s online portal. Thanks to the vigilance of Nest, their attempt to cheat the automatic enrolment system failed.”

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