What protection from unfair treatment do workers have in relation to pensions auto-enrolment?
Under s.54 of the Pensions Act 2008, employers must not take any action with the purpose of inducing a worker to opt out, or give up membership, of a workplace pension scheme.
Under s.55 of the Pensions Act 2008, workers have protection from being subjected to a detriment by their employer on grounds related to the enforcement of their auto-enrolment rights. Under s.104D of the Employment Rights Act 1996, the dismissal of an employee on these grounds will be automatically unfair.
Job applicants also have protection from unfair treatment during the recruitment process under s.50 of the Pensions Act 2008, which sets out "prohibited recruitment conduct". Employers must not attempt to screen applicants by making any statement or asking any question during the recruitment process that indicates that recruitment will depend on whether or not the applicant opts out of auto-enrolment.
Once a jobholder is an active member of a qualifying scheme, the employer must not take any action, or make any omission, to cause him or her to cease being an active member, or to stop the scheme being a qualifying scheme.