The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is carrying out spot checks in North East England to identify if employers are complying with their pension duties.
In the last month inspection teams have visited more than a dozen businesses in towns and cities across the region - including Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Bishop Auckland and Stockton-on-Tees - to check that qualifying staff are being given the workplace pensions they are entitled to.
It is part of a nationwide enforcement campaign which began in London last year, ensuring employers are meeting their automatic enrolment duties correctly.
This was the first time these checks have been done in the North East. Short notice inspections have already begun in Northern Ireland, South Wales, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Greater Manchester, Sheffield and Birmingham, among others.
The checks help TPR to understand whether employers are facing any unnecessary challenges that the regulator can help them with.
But they also highlight employers who have not taken the required steps to become or remain compliant, paving the way for enforcement action against them.
Darren Ryder, TPR’s director of automatic enrolment, said: "The vast majority of employers are compliant with the law but we are continuing to find a very small proportion of employers who aren’t.
“In some cases this is down to innocent error. Our visits help us identify why some employers may be struggling so we can support them.
“But where we find employers are not complying, in particular when they appear to be doing so deliberately, we will use our powers to ensure they comply so that their workers receive the pensions they are entitled to.”