Bus company’s pensions failure impacts transport licence

A regional bus operator which was the first company to be prosecuted by the Pensions Regulator (TPR) for failing to comply with the law on workplace pensions has had its transport licence cut from 40 to 31 vehicles indefinitely as a result

Stotts Tours (Oldham) Ltd neglected to auto enrol its staff into a company pension scheme, a failure which Simon Evans, traffic commissioner for the north west of England, said ‘manifestly brought its good repute into doubt’.

The company was called to a public inquiry before the traffic commissioner on 27 April where managing director Alan Stott admitted he had buried his head in the sand about pensions requirements.

The business provided evidence it now had a pension scheme in place, staff had been auto-enrolled and back payments of employer contributions had been made.

The traffic commissioner ordered the company’s licence to be reduced from 40 to 31 vehicles indefinitely and recorded a formal warning on its transport licence. A number of undertakings were agreed relating to the appointment of a new transport manager, financial standing and the payment of fines.

In February, Stotts Tours (Oldham) and Stott pleaded guilty to a total of 16 offences of wilfully failing to comply with the law on workplace pensions and had to pay more than £60,000 following the TPR’s prosecution.

Report by Pat Sweet

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