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Who would want to be an employer these days?

(26 Posts)
gillybob Sat 16-Jun-18 08:40:09

I am so angry I want scream ! Apologies in advance for long post.

I have said for a long time that this new Workplace Pension scheme will be the PPI of the future. All these employers and employees forced to pay money to these companies who have sprung up overnight in order to cash in on government legislation.

As a small employer I am forced to contribute an amount each month to a pension for my employees (note I do not pay into one for either myself or my husband) . The amounts we are forced to pay is on an upwards sliding scale relating to a percentage of earnings of the individual employee.

I have had lots of “dealings” with the pension provider since we were forced into this , mainly their absolute incompetence, their lack of transparency etc. But this week was the straw that has broke the camels back .

Late last Friday I received a nasty email warning me that my company had been reported to a government body for failing to make the required pension contributions. The letter warned that this could result in a fine or even imprisonmnet ! On Monday I emailed them pointing out that I BLOODY WELL HAVE met the contributions in full. This was followed by another email from them to say ........ “failure to contact us and make these payments means that we have wrote to all of your employees and have informed the dept of pensions and the pension regulator “

I spent most of Tuesday emailing and phoning them (they don’t answer the phone) and then yesterday I received an email from them with an attached letter. I am so angry 😡 I don’t know what to do .

Basically the email reads:

Dear gillybob

Please accept our sincere apologies for recent letters and emails informing you that you have failed to meet your obligations....... etc.

Having carried out a full investigation we are writing to you to tell you to disregard our perviuous correspondence as your payments are in fact fully up to date.

We are writing to each of your employees to apologise for this mistake and to correct the previous correspondence we have sent to them blah bloody blah.....

In other words for a week my employees have been thinking that I have not been paying their pension contributions. I have been reported to the pension regulator and they think this shitty email apology makes it all okay?

Sorry for the rant but I feel like exploding I am so angry !

Maggiemaybe Sat 16-Jun-18 09:40:00

Rant away, gillybob! What ruddy incompetence. The first error on their part was bad enough, but going ahead and contacting the pensions regulator and (worse!) your employees before carrying out their full investigation is indefensible. Especially given the timescale - you should have had time to respond to/refute their first allegation, and that should have been several working days.

I do hope you’re reporting them now, to their regulatory body. angry

gillybob Sat 16-Jun-18 10:02:43

Thank you for taking the time to read (and respond to) my rant Maggie I really appreciate it .

I’m so angry thinking that my employees must’ve been muttering behind my back for an entire week ( surprised one in particular hasn’t confronted me about it ) and their bloody apology just doesn’t cover it !

Nanabilly Sat 16-Jun-18 10:10:58

That is truly disgusting how could they make such a drastic error . I hope the person who did this gets some training or removed from doing it ever again.
The best thing you can do is to get your team of staff together and let them know exactly what has happened as I bet the second letter to them takes longer to get to them than the first.I
What incompetence.!!

Elegran Sat 16-Jun-18 10:55:36

Yes, tell your employees at once, before they get round to informing them.

If I were you I would also be looking for their website/Facebook page/entries in trade lists etc and exposing this nonsense to the world. It is a downright libel for them to write to your employees with this lie and report you falsely to the pensions regulator, and could have done untold harm to your business. It could almost have been done with malice.

When you write to them next (as I am sure you will!) tell them you are consulting your lawyer with a view to suing them. Put the wind up them for a change.

gillybob Sat 16-Jun-18 11:02:45

I get the impression that they have already informed them Nanabilly and Elegran having read their “ formal apology” again it appears that this was done on 13th June so before I thought .
God knows what they must be thinking ? I can guess though .

gillybob Sat 16-Jun-18 11:03:16

Oh and the wording suggests that there were other companies affected too .

OldMeg Sat 16-Jun-18 11:11:18

Print the letter out. Enlarge it on your photocopier and frame it. Then cut out a big arrow to highlight/pinpoint it and stick it on your staff notice board or similar (staff loo?)

gillybob Sat 16-Jun-18 11:19:18

I was thinking of doing something exactly like that OldMeg .

Thank you for reading and responding everyone . I feel better for my rant ! smile

cornergran Sat 16-Jun-18 11:30:31

Rant away gilly, agree with everything said here. Make double sure your employees know where the fault lies and consider if there is any action you could take, maybe the CAB could advise. Simply wrong. Try to relax now and enjoy your weekend, you deserve it.

paddyann Sat 16-Jun-18 11:30:37

I love having my own businesses BUT staff is and always has been a nightmare .Part of the problem is we are too nice .At one point we had two members of staff having messy divorces who spent more time with lawyers than they did at work AND still expected a full pay at the end of the month.That lasted for several months,others who helped themselves to equipment and supplies to do homers and who used company cars to run their families hundreds of miles on weekends .
The final straw was when we sold a large chunk of the business to a multi national and rather than pay off staff used the proceeds to pay them until we could get a different line established ...sadly that avenue wasn't vable so we had to let 3 people go.
They took us to a tribunal ...and won ! Despite us paying them to basically do nothing for 6 months AND use all the profits from the sale to do so.
The strange thing ...or maybe not given the circumstances wa that they ALL told the tribunal that they would be delighted to work for us again and that it was the best job they'd ever had....lol.
Shortly after that we cut the workforce to 6 people ,3 were family.Its been taht way now for over 20 years and much simpler .

Moocow Sat 16-Jun-18 11:32:24

Never been an employer but often wonder how decent employers cope. The stress gillybob deserves more than an apology they should have to declare why they made such an awful error.

Luckygirl Sat 16-Jun-18 11:34:04

My DD employs several people and I hear much of this red tape that builds up and frustrates - but red tape that is in error is above and beyond. Does this company have some sort of professional organisation to whom you can write?

You really did not need all this!

winterwhite Sat 16-Jun-18 11:38:14

Could you write a reasonably worded letter to your local paper, saying that you are a local employer and fear that your reputation has suffered from these failures so you want the true situation to be known? I think this would do you nothing but good.

gillybob Sat 16-Jun-18 11:53:17

Crikey paddyann we could get together and write a book ! The crap we have put up with over the years . Years ago an old guy from business link who had run his own business for years, told me and DH that we were “far too nice to be in business” “sadly” he said “they’ll eat you for dinner” .
I’m not sure who “ they” were, the employees, the authorities, the customers, the suppliers, or all of them ? He was probably right !

I am printing the letter out in BOLD and putting it on the noticeboard on Monday morning and I am going to personally draw everyone’s attention to it . I can’t stop reading it and still can’t believe how they think this half hearted apology makes everything okay .

Thank you again everyone . Again gransnet at its absolute best . smile

Wheniwasyourage Sat 16-Jun-18 14:47:07

gillybob flowerswinewine

What a bunch of plonkers!! I hope your employees know you too well to have believed the rubbish they were being told. Can you change your pension provider, or are you stuck with them? (Sorry, but I have no idea how these arrangements are made, from either side).

gerry86 Sat 16-Jun-18 15:47:01

Totally agree with the heading of your post gillybob, it's getting worse and worse. I fume every month when I have to put the pension contributions through, they have doubled in the past month and will be going up again in the future. This is more money we just have to find as another overhead. Please don't get me started on all the other things that have been imposed on us especially employees being able to work on after 65 which is fine if they can do the job they are employed for but we have two who just can't which puts strain on everyone else but of course we daren't suggest they leave as no doubt it would be straight to a tribunal.

gillybob Sat 16-Jun-18 19:45:10

It is the new workplace pension (the pathetic advert with the monster on TV) wheniwasyourage so sadly I’m stuck with them. Most of the big providers aren’t interested in small accounts (meaning small businesses) as they take most of the payments made towards their costs first. As do the workplace pension scheme but they are forced to take the smallest employers. This is why I mentioned it being the PPI of the future, because everyone is conned into giving up a percentage of their salary to line someone else’s pockets .

I hope the employees don’t believe it either but sadly employers are always the enemy and I anticipate at least one of them will be stirring up trouble .

gillybob Sat 16-Jun-18 19:50:36

I’m with you all the way gerry86 . The employees have definitely got the upper hand. My DH at 66, works 10 times harder than any of ours (for far less pay). I honestly can’t remember the last time any of them put a full week in and the excuses are like the best work of fiction. This workplace pension is a burden to us small employers as we are forced to pay it (without choice) on top of the employment tax (otherwise known as employers NI).

This situation and the nasty threatening letters has once again made me question why the hell we out ourselves through it .

jenpax Sat 16-Jun-18 19:53:25

Employees often won’t benefit from these silly schemes either! For many older employees in low pay jobs, the amounts being paid in by the employer and by themselves will not yield a liveable pension😳 and they will still need benefits to be topped up in old age. In addition many employees on very small wages(minimum wage) can not afford the compulsory wage deductions each month

gillybob Sat 16-Jun-18 19:56:16

I know that jenpax the incompetent pension providers take the vast proportion of the payments made. I have tried to pin them down to find out how much is actually really invested and guess what? They can’t tell me. It is the PPI of the future and a giant con.

ElaineI Sat 16-Jun-18 20:13:59

This does not surprise me Gillybob! I feel sorry for small businesses these days and you are right to put the letter on the noticeboard as I am sure they will not have explained their error in full to your employees!

grannyactivist Sat 16-Jun-18 23:08:23

gillybob - don't let the beggars grind you down! flowers

M0nica Sun 17-Jun-18 13:53:40

That is appalling. Do you know who made the complaint and on what they based their belief you had not been making payments?

Could you speak to your MP about it?

goldengirl Sun 17-Jun-18 16:30:33

Rules and Regulations are often geared to the larger companies but the smaller ones - often without such experienced finance or HR staff found in large corporates - have to spend ages sorting stuff out rather than working on the business and contributing to the country's economy.

Taking on an employee is expensive and getting rid of one is even more expensive both in time and money. Small company bosses often work much longer hours than their employees and as has been said can be 'too nice' and be taken advantage of. We all want a happy working environment but it's a steep learning curve these days for small companies - one step out of line and you're in trouble!