Auto-enrolment: protection of workers
Auto-enrolment: protection of workers

The following Employment guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Auto-enrolment: protection of workers
  • Right of employee not to be unfairly dismissed
  • The right not to suffer detriment
  • Whistleblowing claims
  • Relevant requirements
  • Enforcement and remedies
  • Contracting-out provisions

The auto-enrolment regime, established under the Pensions Act 2008, Pt 1, imposes a new statutory duty on employers to make arrangements for the auto-enrolment of all of their ‘eligible jobholders’ into a ‘qualifying scheme’. Employers are also required to contribute to that scheme on behalf of eligible jobholders.PenA 2008, ss 1–99

The auto-enrolment regime includes numerous provisions imposing sanctions upon employers and other parties for non-compliance. For further information, see Practice Note: Auto-enrolment: the requirements—Sanctions for non-compliance.

Employees and workers also enjoy direct protection under employment legislation in relation to their rights under the auto-enrolment regime.

Right of employee not to be unfairly dismissed

An employee (ie an individual who has entered into or works under (or, where the employment has ceased, worked under) a contract of employment) who is dismissed is regarded as automatically unfairly dismissed (see Automatically unfair reasons) if the reason (or, if more than one, the principal reason) for the dismissal is that:ERA 1996, s 104D(1)ERA 1996, s 230(1)

  1. any action was taken, or was proposed to be taken (eg by the Regulator, the employee or their representative), with a view to enforcing in favour of the employee a relevant requirement of the auto-enrolment legislation (see below)

  2. the employer was prosecuted for an offence under s 45 of the Pensions Act 2008 as a result of action taken for the purpose of enforcing in favour of the employee a relevant requirement of the auto-enrolment legislation (see below)

  3. any of the auto-enrolment provisions the Pensions Act 2008 applies to the employee, or will or might apply

Selection for redundancy for any of the above reasons is also treated as an