Guidelines for employees being considered for ill-health retiral and dismissal on the grounds of ill-health

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Where the Council's Medical Adviser has reported that your absence is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, or that you are no longer capable of carrying out the duties of your post, and all assistance, such as the provision of aids or adaptations, redeployment, alternative employment, or supported employment has been ruled out, the only option available may be to terminate your employment. This is called a dismissal ill-health capability grounds. Where a Certificate of Permanent Incapacity has been issued by the Council’s Medical Adviser, it is also known as ill-health retiral.

The term "dismissal" is not intended in any way to suggest disciplinary action against you, but is the technical term used to describe the termination of the employment contract by the employer.

The Meeting

Your manager/Head of Service will meet with you, either informally or formally depending on circumstances, to discuss the outcome of your medical referral. Where a formal hearing takes place, this will be conducted in line with the Council’s Capability Policy. You can be accompanied at such meetings by a representative of your choice e.g. trade union representative or family member.

Your manager/ Head of Service will go over with you the facts of your case, and you will have the opportunity to respond to this and may ask questions. Please take time to think about what is being said, and discuss it with your representative if you wish. Your manager/ Head of Service will then consider this information and confirm their decision.

If it is decided that you will be dismissed, your manager/Head of Service will go over with you the details of what the dismissal involves, covering your entitlement to pay in lieu of notice, holiday pay, pension and lump sum where appropriate, and the official date of termination. He/she should also give you time to go through this guidance, in case you have any queries. A letter will be sent to you shortly after the meeting/ hearing, confirming the details given at the meeting/hearing.

General Information

Pay and Pension Entitlements [Local Government Pension Scheme]

If your employment is being terminated as a dismissal on capability grounds, you are entitled to pay in lieu of notice up to a maximum of 12 weeks, depending on your length of service. Pay in lieu of notice is taxable. You may also be entitled to some holiday pay. This will have been explained to you by your manager at the hearing.

Your pay in lieu of notice and holiday pay will be paid at the next available pay day following your agreed termination date and your P45 will be issued. This also applies if you are being retired early on ill-health grounds but you are not a member of the Local Government Pension Scheme.

If you are being retired early on ill-health grounds, and you have contributed to the Local Government Pension Scheme and meet certain service requirements, you will be entitled to a pension and a lump sum benefit from the scheme in addition to the pay in lieu of notice and any holiday pay payable.

Ill Health Retirement

In order to qualify for ill health retirement, you have to be permanently incapable of efficiently discharging the duties of your employment as a result of ill health or infirmity of mind or body. The assessment as to your state of health for ill health retirement purposes has to be undertaken by a doctor who holds a qualification in occupational health medicine and who has been approved by the Pension Fund to provide medical opinions for the Council. The doctor who makes the ill health assessment must not have previously been involved with your medical referral.

The doctor will only deem you to be permanently unfit, if, in their opinion, it is more than likely that you will be unable to return to your duties before age 65.

If you are deemed permanently unfit for your Council duties, then the doctor will next consider if you are unfit for all employment or fit for some employment. This is important since the ill health category that you fall into will determine the level of scheme benefit you receive. Bear in mind that it is the role of the doctor to give an opinion regarding your state of health. It remains the role of the Council to determine the date and reason for your cessation.

If you are granted ill health retirement and fall into the more serious category (the "upper tier"), then your benefits will be based on the pensionable membership you would have accumulated by age 65. Alternatively, if you fall into the less serious category (the "lower tier"), then your benefits will be based on your pensionable membership to date of retirement plus 25% of the period from your date of retirement to age 65. If you were a member of the Local Government Pension Scheme before 1st April, 2009, your benefits cannot be less than that which would have been payable had you retired under the pre 1st April, 2009 scheme rules.

If you have any concerns such as being refused ill health retirement or being required to take ill health retirement, you have a right of appeal under the rules of the Local Government Pension Scheme. Details of your right of appeal should be provided to you by your employer. If this does not occur, you can contact the Pension Section for appeal information.

Ill health retirement benefits from the pension scheme consist of an annual pension and, in most cases, a lump sum.

Under current tax rules the lump sum benefit is not taxable, whereas the annual pension is taxable. However, the extent to which you actually pay any tax will depend on the amount of your pension, whether or not you receive any State benefits and whether you have any other income.

When you leave, the Pension Section will retain your P45 so that your current tax code can be applied to your pension. This is to provide continuity of your tax position once your pension comes into payment.

The Pensions Section should be advised by your manager/Head of Service of your impending ill-health retirement as soon as this is agreed. The Pensions Section will subsequently receive a copy of the Certificate of Permanent Incapacity from Human Resources.

Your manager/Head of Service should have obtained an estimate of the amounts of your pension and lump sum, but the Pension Section will write out to you with final details once they have been notified of your termination date. You will be sent a Pension Enrolment Form to complete, and you will be asked to let the Pension Section see your birth certificate (as well as marriage certificate and spouse’s birth certificate, if appropriate). If you send the certificates by post, please use the Recorded Delivery service or send photocopies.

Once the Pensions Section have received notification of your retiral, and seen the certificates, they will normally issue the lump sum payment within seven working days. Your pension will be paid into your bank account on the 15th of each month, and you will be sent a monthly payslip. It may not be possible for the first pension payment to be in your account on the first 15th of the month following your retiral, but if this happens you will get the full amount backdated to the date of your retiral on the next 15th of the month.

Example: if you were retired on 30 November, you would probably not receive your first pension on 15 December, but the pension paid on 15 January would cover the period from 1 December. You would have received your lump sum benefit probably in mid-December, depending upon the date the Pension Section saw your birth certificate and received the notification of your retirement.

If you have any queries, call the Council’s Pensions Section on 01324 506329.

Pension Entitlements [Scottish Public Pensions Agency - Teachers' Scheme]

For teachers, pensions are governed by the Teachers' Superannuation [Scotland] Regulations, and ill health retirals are at the discretion of the SPPA. If you have any queries, call the Pensions Administrator:

7 Tweedside Park,

Statutory Sick Pay and Employment & Support Allowance

When you first go off sick, you receive Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) as part of your normal sick pay. If your absence goes over 28 weeks, you may be eligible to claim Employment & Support Allowance via JobCentre Plus.

Welfare Benefits Advice

If you need any help at all with any forms, or with any benefits issue, you can get private and confidential advice from the Council’s Welfare Benefits Advice Service. They will help you if you are trying to claim benefits, or if you have been refused benefits. They will even represent you at appeal tribunals. It would be sensible to get in touch with an Adviser, so that you can be sure you are getting all the benefits you are entitled to.

Benefits Hotline

Or you can call in to any Council One-Stop-Shop, or to any Social Work Office.

If you live outwith the Falkirk Council area, you should contact your local Council, who will probably have a similar service.

The Disability Information Service can also provide specialist information, advice and advocacy. They have a wide range of information on charitable grants, transport, education, housing, welfare benefits, and aids and adaptations.

Disability Information Service
[Answer phone operates out of hours and weekends.]

Getting out and about - Where to get help

If you have problems getting about, or have to rely on family and friends to take you out and about, there are several schemes in the area which might help you.

Concessionary Travel Pass

You may be entitled to reduced fares on trains and buses. Contact:

If you live outwith the Falkirk Council area, then contact your local Council for information.


If you are unable to use ordinary buses due to mobility problems, you may be able to use the Dial-A-Journey door-to-door transport service. Telephone 01786 465355 for further information. This service covers Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannanshire Council areas.

Taxicard Scheme

This scheme allows people who are unable to use buses to travel in taxis at reduced rates. Telephone the Transport Planning Unit on 01324 504964, or the Disability Information Service on 01324 506420 for an application form and/or further information.

Central Shopmobility

This is a scheme which offers free loan of powered and manual wheelchairs to make shopping easier in the town centres of Falkirk, Grangemouth, Stirling and Alloa. Escorts may also be available. Contact the Central Shopmobility office at Callendar Square Shopping Centre, Falkirk, Telephone 01324 630500.

These schemes, and many others are available free of charge to people who have health problems, disabilities or mental health problems, which affect their ability to get out and about. Contact the addresses given, or get in touch with the Disability Information Service on 01324 504304.