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My HR Knowledge Bank

Welcome to My HR Knowledge Bank.  You will find frequently asked questions on all current HR Policies and procedures, links to all policies, useful forms, guidelines and toolkits.

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ILL HEALTH REGULATIONS

Are you able to continue to pay pension contributions on a reduced grade or hours post once you have accessed your benefits via flexible retirement?

Yes, but this would be a new pension record based on the reduction of hours or grade.

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I do not agree with the temporary decision as I feel I will not be able to return to work in the future as I am very unwell. Can I appeal against the decision?

The decision would have been based on the medical upto date advice and Occupational Health would have already received a report from your GP or Consultant.

If you can provide alternative written advice from your medical practitioner to suggest that you are unable to return to work in the future a third opinion may be requested from an alternative Independent Registered Medical Practitioner.

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I have been absent from work for several months and feel that I can't return to my post due to ill health. Can I be considered for ill health retirement?

You should have already been seen by the Occupational Health Practitioner. If the medical advice is suggesting that you will be unable to work again in any capacity you will be referred to the Independent Registered Medical Practitioner (IRMP) for a decision on your continued employment.

If the IRMP decides that you are permanently unfit a decision will also be made on whether your pension will be released or not (and how much of your pension will be released). Your employment would be terminated from the date of your appointment with the IRMP.

Further information can be found in the Ill Health Regulations Policy or the Sickness Absence Policy.

Both Council policies can be accessed here.

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I have reduced my hours due to my medical condition; will my pension benefits be affected?

The main difference is that the Independent Registered Medical Practitioner has to decide whether your reduction in contractual hours is as a result of your medical condition. The outcome of this decision will affect the level of enhancement that you will receive.

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I've been awarded a 3rd tier payment but have been informed that I will be reviewed in 18 months, what does this mean?

A 3rd tier benefit is temporary until you return to work and will not be paid once you are in gainful employment (which is not less than 30 hours a week for a period of not less than 12 months).

If at your review you are in gainful employment then your tier 3 payments will stop, however if you are not in gainful employment a further medical review will take place.

A flowchart to explain the process can be seen at Appendix 5 of the Ill Health Regulations Policy.

You are required to notify the Council when employment is found.

The Council's Ill Health Regulations Policy can be accessed here.

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I've been awarded Tier 2 - can I appeal against the decision?

If you are unhappy with the decision you can appeal via the Internal Dispute Resolution Procedure.

Employees must write to the Pensions Section based at Bronwydd House, Porth, CF39 9DL detailing medical diagnosis obtained that is contrary to that of the Independent Registered Medical Practitioner (IRMP).

Please note, appeals must be lodged within six months of the original IRMP decision and can only be lodged once the termination has been actioned. Further information can be found in Appendix 4 of the Ill Health Regulations Policy.

The Council's Ill Health Regulations Policy can be accessed here.

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I've been to see the Independent Registered Medical Practitioner and they told me that I am permanently unfit to return to my post and have been given a Tier 2 benefit - What does this mean?

The Independent Registered Medical Practitioner has the option to award you one of three tiers of ill health benefit dependent on your case.

Tier 1 You will be entitled to immediate payment of your pension with 100% enhancement to the age of 65.

Tier 2 You will be entitled to immediate payment of your pension with a lower level of 25% enhancement.

Tier 3 You will be entitled to immediate payment of your pension without enhancement, which will be reviewed after 18 months, as it is likely that you will be able to obtain gainful employment within three years of leaving your employment.

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What are the options open to the Independent Registered Medical Practitioner when they are making a decision on my fitness for work?

The Independent Registered Medical Practitioner will decide whether you are permanently incapable of returning to your position or whether you are temporarily unable to attend work and will complete the appropriate form.

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What would happen if the Independent Registered Medical Practitioner decides I'm not permanently incapable of returning to my post?

Your case would be referred back to your manager or Head of Service to make a decision on your continued employment. You will receive a welfare visit to discuss whether you would like to accept a Termination by Mutual Agreement or attend an Ill Health Capability Hearing with the Service Director. Information is available in Appendix 3 of the Ill Health Regulations Policy.

The Council's Ill Health Regulations Policy can be accessed here.

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What would happen to me if the Independent Registered Medical Practitioner decides that I am permanently incapable of returning to my post?

The Independent Registered Medical Practitioner (IRMP) would have to make the decision whether or not your condition is going to reduce your likelihood of obtaining gainful employment before the age of 65. This may also mean that although you cannot return to your post you could carry out alternative work.

No Reduced Likelihood - you have no entitlement to an ill health pension and your contract will be terminated from the date you were seen by the IRMP.

Reduced Likelihood - you have the entitlement to an ill health retirement benefit and the IRMP will decide which ill health benefit you will receive. Your contract would be terminated due to ill health from the date you were seen by the IRMP.

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