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Departmental Legislation

Volume 503: debated on Thursday 7 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what criminal offences have been (a) abolished and (b) created by primary legislation sponsored by her Department since 1 May 2008. (303259)

The information is as follows:

The Pensions Act 2008 created the following offences:

(i) a wilful failure by an employer to comply with the duties to automatically enrol or re-enrol their employees into pension saving, or allow them to opt into pension saving. These enrolment and opt in duties are set out in sections 3(2), 5(2) and 7(3) of the Pensions Act 2008 and the offence is at section 45 of the Act;

(ii) an existing offence of providing false or misleading information (Pensions Act 2004) was amended. It now includes information which must be provided to the Pensions Regulator by employers about action they have taken or intend to take for the purposes of their duties under the Pensions Act enrolment provisions.

The Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 created the following offences:

Sections 32D and 32K of the Child Support Act 1991 (as inserted by sections 22 and 23 of the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008) create the offences of failure to comply with the requirements of an order made under sections 32A (regular deduction order), 32E (interim lump sum deduction order) and 32F (final lump sum deduction order), these sections also contain a power to designate any regulations made under sections 32C and 32J as falling within the scope of the offence.

Section 36 of the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 created a regulation making power to impose a duty of failing to notify a change of address on a person liable to make payments of child support maintenance. The power when exercised would set the duty out in the Child Support Information Regulations 2008. The offence is inserted into section 14A of the Child Support Act 1991.

The Welfare Reform Act 2009 created the following offences:

Section 55 of the Welfare Reform Act 2009 substitutes the provision made by section 36 of the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2009 extending the duty and the scope of the offence to include failure to notify any other change of circumstances.

Section 51 of the Welfare Reform Act 2009 inserts section 39CA into the Child Support Act 1991, to require persons against whom an order disqualifying a person from holding a driving licence or travel authorisation is made to surrender the document within a required period (seven days beginning with the start of the period for which the order has effect) and where there is good reason for not surrendering within that period, as soon as reasonably practicable after the end of that period. A person who fails to comply with this requirement commits an offence.