Evesham Vale Growers
Company Size: 500+ employees
Staging Date: 1st April 2014
What’s the story?
In June 2014 Aspira was approached by one of its accountancy partners to help Evesham Vale Growers (EVG) with auto-enrolment problems. EVG farms over 2500 acres in the heart of England, with a wide range of agricultural and horticultural enterprises. They have grown to be one of the largest farming businesses in the Midlands with over 700 staff and a diverse customer base including leading supermarkets, independent wholesale, food service and processing sectors. Here’s how Aspira helped them:
EVG prepared diligently for their auto-enrolment responsibilities attending numerous seminars before appointing an external project manager.
All appeared to be progressing well until mid-March when timelines were ignored by the project manager. This led to the Regulator getting involved and appointing a senior case manager to approach EVG.
- The intervention meant potential fines for legislation breaches and the right to use postponement from April 1st being removed, this in turn led to an order for both employer and employee contributions to be backdated at the employers cost.
- Aspira were appointed and made contact with The Pensions Regulator building an excellent working relationship. Some timescales were agreed, major concessions from the regulator with regard to backdating contributions were made and most importantly the case was closed without any fines being issued.
What did they say?
“It was our lucky day when we were introduced to Aspira. They came in at a moment’s notice, quickly assessed the situation and promptly set about putting in place everything that was needed to put us back on track.”
Toni Hudson, Company Secretary
Lessons to be learnt:
- Make sure regular communication is maintained between employer and project manager.
- Engage with tPR as soon as possible if things are going awry.
Auto-enrolment is not regulated by the FCA