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? Querying of NHS Severance / Formal / Informal Financial Leave Agreements.

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Daithi
Daithi Community member Posts: 11 Connected
Apologies if I sound craven, after 25 years of working as a Nurse in the NHS, I find that at the age of 47 I need to request an Application to be made by me for Early Ill Health Retirement, due too two Severe Illness, resulting in disabilities, requiring a Care Package etc.  Given my age, and hope that I’m able to make at least some of my bones ‘old’, I need to optimise my financial circumstances. 

I’m aware that a form AW33E needs to be completed and sent to NHS Business Services along with supporting evidence, where a board will judge the merits of the application etc.  (I am aware that my Early Ill Health Retirement Application will result in my dismissal from the NHS, usually when a response is gained from NHS Business Services & a form AW8 is completed and sent back to NHS Business Services.

MY QUESTION IS can the meeting with my Managerial Lead, Head of Human Resources myself & RCN Union representative, be used both to request Early Ill Health Retirement & for the RCN Representative to seek to negotiate a informal / formal / charitable severance lump sum (Separate from & not related to my NHS Pension.

The reason I ask is that I was devised last week that I could apply or seek a, “Mutually Agreed Resignation Scheme (MARS)”.  I contacted the NHS Business Services Unit, who confirmed a MARS could be sought with no related or otherwise impact on seeking ill health retirement, yet when I look at available literature it states the opposite.


(I have on email correspondence that my Managerial Lead, her boss,  ‘Operational Manager’, & her managers manager, the head ‘Operational Manager for Community Services’, & the head of ‘Human Resources’, all support early ill health retirement.

Separate from the above, my GP, Psychiatrist, CMHT Care Coordinator, Post Covid-19 Community Rehabilitation Service, Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist, Orthopaedic Consultant, Specialist Falls Consultant, Social Worker, Employers Occupational Health Doctor, Employers Clinical Lead for my team, all support an application for ill health retirement)


DOES ANYONE KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT NHS SEVERANCE PAY / MARS OR ANY ITHER LEAVING SCHEMES FROM THE NHS.

Comments

  • Bydand
    Bydand Community member Posts: 115 Pioneering
    Options
    Daithi said:
    Apologies if I sound craven, after 25 years of working as a Nurse in the NHS, I find that at the age of 47 I need to request an Application to be made by me for Early Ill Health Retirement, due too two Severe Illness, resulting in disabilities, requiring a Care Package etc.  Given my age, and hope that I’m able to make at least some of my bones ‘old’, I need to optimise my financial circumstances. 

    I’m aware that a form AW33E needs to be completed and sent to NHS Business Services along with supporting evidence, where a board will judge the merits of the application etc.  (I am aware that my Early Ill Health Retirement Application will result in my dismissal from the NHS, usually when a response is gained from NHS Business Services & a form AW8 is completed and sent back to NHS Business Services.

    MY QUESTION IS can the meeting with my Managerial Lead, Head of Human Resources myself & RCN Union representative, be used both to request Early Ill Health Retirement & for the RCN Representative to seek to negotiate a informal / formal / charitable severance lump sum (Separate from & not related to my NHS Pension.

    The reason I ask is that I was devised last week that I could apply or seek a, “Mutually Agreed Resignation Scheme (MARS)”.  I contacted the NHS Business Services Unit, who confirmed a MARS could be sought with no related or otherwise impact on seeking ill health retirement, yet when I look at available literature it states the opposite.


    (I have on email correspondence that my Managerial Lead, her boss,  ‘Operational Manager’, & her managers manager, the head ‘Operational Manager for Community Services’, & the head of ‘Human Resources’, all support early ill health retirement.

    Separate from the above, my GP, Psychiatrist, CMHT Care Coordinator, Post Covid-19 Community Rehabilitation Service, Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist, Orthopaedic Consultant, Specialist Falls Consultant, Social Worker, Employers Occupational Health Doctor, Employers Clinical Lead for my team, all support an application for ill health retirement)


    DOES ANYONE KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT NHS SEVERANCE PAY / MARS OR ANY ITHER LEAVING SCHEMES FROM THE NHS.
    I did not work for the NHS but retired because of ill health recently from the civil service.

    what you are explaining sounds very much like the capability/ compensation process, where you basically part ways with your employer through a mutually agreed severance package based on years of service etc.

    ill health is where you are awarded some or all of your pension entitlement early due to ill health and difficulties faced carrying out your job.

    It is my understanding that in the civil service you cannot claim for both. You have the 2 options open to you and you must choose which one is better for your circumstances, and more importantly which option is likely to be successful based on the medical evidence you can provide and prove for any illness or disability causing you problems.

    For both it would likely be based on years of ill health, possible adjustments at work, past and ongoing OH contact and recommendations and likely being of sick for extended periods of time. You cannot just say you want to apply without there being sufficient evidence of the above. Usually someone with severe enough ill health would likely have already gone through the above before thinking or being advised about retirement. Certainly the ill health application process would seek to indeed look at your history prior to any IHR application.

    I would very much doubt that the NHS would allow you to claim against both and you have already stated that what you have read supports this.

    it should be noted that neither of the options are guaranteed to be successful and applications are turned down regularly. The problem with that is you have then admitted to your employer through the application process for either that you feel you are unable to carry on working because of illness and as a result they will look at terminating your employment.

    What I can say from personal experience is that the ill health retirement process is thorough and the onus is very much on you to provide the medical evidence required by your scheme provider in order to satisfy FULLY their criteria. If you can’t or if there is any grey area in your evidence then expect delays or even a no award to be given.
    It is very very important for anyone applying for IHR to be fully conversant about their scheme policy and the specific criteria you must meet. It is not enough just to have an illness that is causing you issues, the criteria is very clear and you must satisfy to the chief medical Officer scrutiny that you meet these fully.

    Sorry I can’t be of more help

  • Daithi
    Daithi Community member Posts: 11 Connected
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    Thank you for that insight, I think I have sufficient evidence for NHS Early Ill Health Retirement, what’s a nightmare is selling my home as I’m not going to be in a position to pay the outstanding mortgage, and if I go to half pay, as I expect this month, I won’t have sufficient funds to live on before a pension is accessed.  I have been granted ‘Breathing Space’, which is a bit of a wet paper bag, and doesn’t cover the big ticket items e.g mortgage.  This is why I was querying whether my RCN Union could negotiate continued full pay, at least til we hear the judgement of the NHS BSA about the pension application.  Particularly as my illness is a ‘Protected Class, under the Equality Act 2010, confirmed by my NHS Employer.
  • Bydand
    Bydand Community member Posts: 115 Pioneering
    Options
    Daithi said:
    Thank you for that insight, I think I have sufficient evidence for NHS Early Ill Health Retirement, what’s a nightmare is selling my home as I’m not going to be in a position to pay the outstanding mortgage, and if I go to half pay, as I expect this month, I won’t have sufficient funds to live on before a pension is accessed.  I have been granted ‘Breathing Space’, which is a bit of a wet paper bag, and doesn’t cover the big ticket items e.g mortgage.  This is why I was querying whether my RCN Union could negotiate continued full pay, at least til we hear the judgement of the NHS BSA about the pension application.  Particularly as my illness is a ‘Protected Class, under the Equality Act 2010, confirmed by my NHS Employer.
    I would very much doubt that any negotiation can be entered into with respect of getting full pay regardless of any protected class…..I am classed as having a disability and I had to follow the procedure as anyone else would have too, getting extra leeway would be discriminatory to others.

    you have stated that you expect to go onto half pay this month so reading between the lines you must have been off sick for at least 6 months on full pay to reach that stage. 

    Hearing half pay is always going to strike fear into anyone who is at least remotely worried about bills etc, what I can tell you is that my half pay was nowhere near half of my pay. With statutory sick pay bumping up your normal pay you won’t likely lose as much as you think. It may be worthwhile if you haven’t already asking your pay section to do some sums for you. If nothing else it may help ease some of your fears.

    I fully understand the worries and I had the exact same conversations and doubts in my head that you are likely having. For me it was slightly easier as I have a progressive disease which will likely cause my death, just over a slightly longer period of time than the 12 months definition of terminal, so I was confident I would be awarded the higher tier IHR, which I was, so throughout the application I believed that I would be financially ok and be able to pay my mortgage off with some of my lump sum.For anyone going through the application and not knowing the likelihood of a successful claim it must be really really horrible and I can only sympathise.

     Only you are aware of your financial situation so I can’t give much advice other than lenders would be more appreciative and hopefully helpful if you are honest with them about your circumstances as soon as you can.

    fast forward and I am still waiting for my pension to be sorted out, having been awarded my IHR in Nov.
    i am on half pay with no statutory sick pay left and have had to contact the bank ref taking a mortgage break until such time as I can pay the remainder of ( hopefully by March). The whole process is a worry and it can feel very much like you are alone. I hated taking the step of talking to my mortgage provider.

    I do hope that your IHR works out the way you envisage.

    not an expert but any help you think I can be then reach out






  • Daithi
    Daithi Community member Posts: 11 Connected
    Options
    Hi there, thanks for your surmising, it was kinda what I thought until a friend sent me this, which seemed to suggest some discretion / flexibility can be facilitated, it be great to get comments on them, I highlighted in BOLD the areas I think are applicable.

    Workforce Advisory Service – Sickness Absence Pay Extension Guidance”

    Agenda for Change section 14.13 does allow Employers some discretion as follows:

     Where there is the expectation of return to work in the short term and an extension would
    materially support a return and/or assist recovery, particular consideration should be given
    to those staff without full sick pay entitlements

    In any other circumstance the employer deems reasonable

    1. Considerations

    In determining if there is an opportunity to provide additional provision, the Trust needs to set out
    some key principles and arrangements for approval to ensure that application and approval is fair,
    equitable and not subject to abuse.

    Any extension beyond the normal sick pay arrangements will remain discretionary and will not be
    a contractual right. Contractual provisions are those explained within section 14 of Agenda
    for Change.

    In considering additional support beyond the normal sick pay arrangements, it is essential that the
    Trust are able to do so fairly and equitably.


    2. When should it be considered?

    Extension to sick pay should be used where there is evidence that failure to do so may
    result in genuine hardship and where this could have a detrimental impact on the employee’s
    ability to recover. There should be evidence that all normal financial avenues have been
    explored including the approved use of accrued annual leave and welfare benefits.

    It should be evident to decision makers that extending sick pay provision would have a positive
    impact on the person’s recovery and aid their ability to focus on ultimately a return to work.

    Alternatively it could be used in those difficult situations where there is a terminal diagnosis and
    where it is more beneficial for the employee to die in service.


    3. Application Process

    3.1 Who could make a request for an extension to sick pay?

    In order to ensure that this process is robust and auditable it is best if the employee is supported
    in making an application. Making an application may be made as a result of recognition by those
    supporting the employee that there are financial issues, or it could be made by
    the employee themselves when they find themselves in a difficult position from which they feel
    the Trust may be able to help.

    In order to ensure there is sufficient information for an informed decision to be made,
    it is recognised that the following identified groups may be able to drive forward
    the necessary collation of documentation/evidence to make an application:

     HR colleagues actively involved in the support of the employee

     Line Managers actively involved in the support of the employee

     Occupational Health practitioners involved in the support of the
    employee

     Trade Union or work colleagues actively involved in the support of the employee

     Lead Cancer Nurse and end of life care actively involved in the support of the
    employee

     Pensions Manager

     The employee themselves


    3.2 How to apply?

    Requests should be made via letter or summary so that there is a clear audit trail and
    supporting evidence (where applicable/appropriate) must be provided.

    4. Decision making

    4.1 What would be taken into account in order to make a decision?

    Whilst it is not possible to pre-empt every situation it is likely that extensions to sick pay would
    be considered in the following circumstances:

     Staff with a diagnosis of serious/life limiting/life threatening medical conditions such
    as Cancer, heart conditions, Stroke, HIV/AIDS and conditions that cause serious
    disability without necessarily being life threatening

    Conditions that fall under the Equality Act 2010

     Staff without full sick pay entitlement due to length of service

     Previous excellent attendance record (with absence in the previous 12 months only
    being related to the current condition)

    Where extension can be proven to aid recovery

    Where there is a gap between pay ending and pension starting

    Where there is a delay to treatment beyond the employees control but where such
    treatment would provide an opportunity for full recovery or return to stability such
    that the employee could return to work


    4.2 Who would they apply to?

    In the first instance requests should be made to the Deputy Director of Workforce or their
    nominated deputy, who can approve extension periods up to and including a period of 3 months,
    which can be at either full or half pay as agreed.

    Where the Deputy Director does not support the request the matter can be referred to the
    Operational Director or Executive Director of HR for consideration.


    4.3 Further extension requests

    In exceptional circumstances extensions beyond 3 months would be considered but
    such applications would need to explain why the 3 months intervention had not been
    adequate to reach a resolution (that being either a return to work or retirement plan).
    Requests should also include details of the length of a further extension. Such requests would
    go to the Operational Director or Executive Director of HR for consideration.”
  • Bydand
    Bydand Community member Posts: 115 Pioneering
    Options
    Daithi said:
    Hi there, thanks for your surmising, it was kinda what I thought until a friend sent me this, which seemed to suggest some discretion / flexibility can be facilitated, it be great to get comments on them, I highlighted in BOLD the areas I think are applicable.

    Workforce Advisory Service – Sickness Absence Pay Extension Guidance”

    Agenda for Change section 14.13 does allow Employers some discretion as follows:

     Where there is the expectation of return to work in the short term and an extension would
    materially support a return and/or assist recovery, particular consideration should be given
    to those staff without full sick pay entitlements

    In any other circumstance the employer deems reasonable

    1. Considerations

    In determining if there is an opportunity to provide additional provision, the Trust needs to set out
    some key principles and arrangements for approval to ensure that application and approval is fair,
    equitable and not subject to abuse.

    Any extension beyond the normal sick pay arrangements will remain discretionary and will not be
    a contractual right. Contractual provisions are those explained within section 14 of Agenda
    for Change.

    In considering additional support beyond the normal sick pay arrangements, it is essential that the
    Trust are able to do so fairly and equitably.


    2. When should it be considered?

    Extension to sick pay should be used where there is evidence that failure to do so may
    result in genuine hardship and where this could have a detrimental impact on the employee’s
    ability to recover. There should be evidence that all normal financial avenues have been
    explored including the approved use of accrued annual leave and welfare benefits.

    It should be evident to decision makers that extending sick pay provision would have a positive
    impact on the person’s recovery and aid their ability to focus on ultimately a return to work.

    Alternatively it could be used in those difficult situations where there is a terminal diagnosis and
    where it is more beneficial for the employee to die in service.


    3. Application Process

    3.1 Who could make a request for an extension to sick pay?

    In order to ensure that this process is robust and auditable it is best if the employee is supported
    in making an application. Making an application may be made as a result of recognition by those
    supporting the employee that there are financial issues, or it could be made by
    the employee themselves when they find themselves in a difficult position from which they feel
    the Trust may be able to help.

    In order to ensure there is sufficient information for an informed decision to be made,
    it is recognised that the following identified groups may be able to drive forward
    the necessary collation of documentation/evidence to make an application:

     HR colleagues actively involved in the support of the employee

     Line Managers actively involved in the support of the employee

     Occupational Health practitioners involved in the support of the
    employee

     Trade Union or work colleagues actively involved in the support of the employee

     Lead Cancer Nurse and end of life care actively involved in the support of the
    employee

     Pensions Manager

     The employee themselves


    3.2 How to apply?

    Requests should be made via letter or summary so that there is a clear audit trail and
    supporting evidence (where applicable/appropriate) must be provided.

    4. Decision making

    4.1 What would be taken into account in order to make a decision?

    Whilst it is not possible to pre-empt every situation it is likely that extensions to sick pay would
    be considered in the following circumstances:

     Staff with a diagnosis of serious/life limiting/life threatening medical conditions such
    as Cancer, heart conditions, Stroke, HIV/AIDS and conditions that cause serious
    disability without necessarily being life threatening

    Conditions that fall under the Equality Act 2010

     Staff without full sick pay entitlement due to length of service

     Previous excellent attendance record (with absence in the previous 12 months only
    being related to the current condition)

    Where extension can be proven to aid recovery

    Where there is a gap between pay ending and pension starting

    Where there is a delay to treatment beyond the employees control but where such
    treatment would provide an opportunity for full recovery or return to stability such
    that the employee could return to work


    4.2 Who would they apply to?

    In the first instance requests should be made to the Deputy Director of Workforce or their
    nominated deputy, who can approve extension periods up to and including a period of 3 months,
    which can be at either full or half pay as agreed.

    Where the Deputy Director does not support the request the matter can be referred to the
    Operational Director or Executive Director of HR for consideration.


    4.3 Further extension requests

    In exceptional circumstances extensions beyond 3 months would be considered but
    such applications would need to explain why the 3 months intervention had not been
    adequate to reach a resolution (that being either a return to work or retirement plan).
    Requests should also include details of the length of a further extension. Such requests would
    go to the Operational Director or Executive Director of HR for consideration.”
    Hi again,
    not an expert by any means and I really hope someone else can chime in who might have experience of this. My understanding having read the above is as follows.

    I can see how you would believe that there may be some scope for additional extended sick pay and perhaps there is, but having read the above I would say that it primarily has to do when an employee is still considered to be able to return to work and an employer still supports this return. Ie an employee has had cancer treatment but the recovery has been slightly slower than expected but recovery would be highly likely in the short term etc.

    You on the other hand have stated that you are considering or have made an application for IHR and it would seem that you have been off sick for at least 6 months already due to health issues stopping you working as you mention going on to half pay soon.

    My feeling is that any extended sick pay agreement would be difficult to get as you are/ would be the one highlighting  to your employer that you believe that you are unable to do you’re job because of ill health, 

    If successful you will then leave the company with some or all of your pension….i think you would have to have exceptional employers if you believe that they will help you financially when there is no benefit to themselves, but maybe I am being cynical having gone through the process of IHR.
    you would certainly need to prove that you have exhausted all other means of financial support, ie benefits, use of leave entitlement etc. I also can’t imagine the process being a quick one which doesn’t change or help you going on to half pay.

    Any financial burden or associated difficulties has to be taken into consideration before any IHR application is made and it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone going through the process that there may be a period of time when you will likely struggle moneywise until you get what will hopefully be a good and positive IHR outcome. It is not a perfect process and all pros and cons must be thought about beforehand to avoid problems taking you by surprise.

    Is there no chance of a return to work, have you asked or been given reasonable workplace adjustments etc…..any IHR application will certainly look at this…..my report stated “ Having taken everything into consideration I believe that Mr R……… and his employers have exhausted all reasonable workplace adjustments 

    My concern is that an awful lot of people having applied for IHR expect to be given an award and this just isn’t correct, applications are routinely refused because they don’t fully meet the pension scheme criteria. Until you have your certificate stating your award then it should never be taken as being a foregone conclusion. there is usually an evidence trail of several years where your ill health has been noted and is considered ongoing.

    i was advised by my union and my Hr dept that if I was genuinely at a point in my career where an ongoing illness was causing me work issues and were unlikely to resolve themselves then IHR should be considered…I was basically told that if I had decided to apply for IHR then I should go long term sick and start the process immediately in the hope that I would never reach the half pay stage before knowing the outcome of my IHR application.

    sorry I can’t be more of a help and give you definitive answers, hopefully someone else will be able too.







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