What is the relevance for employers of 1 July 2012 in relation to pensions auto-enrolment?

Safeguards aimed at protecting workers who seek to enforce their rights under the pensions auto-enrolment provisions are in force for all employers from 1 July 2012. This is regardless of the employer's staging date, so even smaller employers whose duty to auto-enrol workers into a qualifying pension scheme will not come into force for some time must comply with the safeguards.

Under the safeguards that apply to all employers from 1 July 2012, employers must not:

  • subject workers to any detriment, or dismiss them, because they assert the right to auto-enrol;
  • offer workers any inducement to opt out, or give up membership, of a workplace pension scheme;
  • make any statement or ask any question during the recruitment process that indicates to a job applicant that recruitment will depend on whether or not he or she opts out of auto-enrolment; or
  • cause a jobholder to cease to be an active member of a qualifying pension scheme.