Prohibited recruitment conduct

Prohibited recruitment conduct

50.—(1) An employer contravenes this section if any statement made or question asked by or on behalf of the employer for the purposes of recruitment indicates (expressly or impliedly) that an application for employment with the employer may be determined by reference to whether or not an applicant might opt out of automatic enrolment.

(2) The reference in subsection (1) to a statement made or a question asked for the purposes of recruitment is a reference to one made or asked in the course of any of the following—

(a)inviting applications for employment;

(b)requesting information from an applicant, referee or other person in connection with an application for employment;

(c)providing information about employment;

(d)proposing terms or conditions of employment.

(3) The reference in subsection (1) to an applicant opting out of automatic enrolment is a reference to the applicant, if becoming at any time in the course of the employment a jobholder to whom section 3 or 5 applies, giving notice in accordance with section 8 in relation to arrangements made by the employer under the relevant section.

(4) In this section and sections 51 and 52, “employer” means the prospective employer in relation to any employment.

Compliance notices

51.—(1) The Regulator may issue a compliance notice to an employer if it is of the opinion that the employer has contravened section 50.

(2) A compliance notice is a notice directing the employer to take, or refrain from taking, the steps specified in the notice in order to—

(a)remedy the contravention, or

(b)prevent the contravention being repeated.

(3) A compliance notice may, in particular—

(a)state the period within which any step must be taken or must cease to be taken;

(b)require the employer to provide within a specified period specified information relating to the contravention;

(c)require the employer to inform the Regulator, within a specified period, how the employer has complied or is complying with the notice;

(d)state that, if the employer fails to comply with the requirements of the notice, the Regulator may issue a penalty notice under section 52.

(4) A compliance notice must specify the contravention to which the notice relates.

Penalty notices

52.—(1) The Regulator may issue a penalty notice to an employer if it is of the opinion that the employer—

(a)has contravened section 50, or

(b)has failed to comply with a compliance notice under section 51.

(2) A penalty notice is a notice requiring the person to whom it is issued to pay a penalty within the period specified in the notice.

(3) The penalty—

(a)is to be determined in accordance with regulations, and

(b)must not exceed £50,000.

(4) A penalty notice must—

(a)state the amount of the penalty;

(b)state the date, which must be at least four weeks after the date on which the notice is issued, by which the penalty must be paid;

(c)specify the contravention or failure to which the notice relates;

(d)notify the employer of the review process under section 43 and the right to make a reference under section 44 (as applied by section 53).

(5) Section 42 (penalty notices: recovery) applies to a penalty payable under this section, and to a notice under this section, as it applies to a penalty payable under section 40, and to a notice under that section.

Review of notices and references to the Pensions Regulator Tribunal

53.—(1) Section 43 (review of notices) also applies to a compliance notice issued under section 51 and to a penalty notice issued under section 52.

(2) Section 44 (references to the Pensions Regulator Tribunal) applies in relation to a penalty notice issued under section 52 as it applies in relation to a notice issued under section 40 or 41.