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Retirement and leaving employment

Death in Service

Dealing with a death of an employee can be a difficult and emotionally demanding experience. As the line manager, you will most likely be involved in communicating with partners and/or family members during this time with regards to death in service benefits, pensions and final salary arrangements.

To help ensure that our Payroll service and Human Resources are provided with sufficient and accurate information relating to employees who die in service, please review the below guidance which includes a checklist of what is required and a flowchart of the process to follow. This helps Human Resources and Payroll when notifying the Scottish Public Pensions Agency (SPPA) and enables the efficient administration of death-in-service benefits to surviving partners and dependants. 

Please also note the template letters that you may wish to use to confirm details with the partner/family members.

We appreciate that this is a very sensitive subject and if you require any further advice or guidance, please do not hesitate to contact the HR Support and Advice Unit on 0141 278 2700 or email hr.support@ggc.scot.nhs.uk  

Documentation

Employee Exit Process

Employee Exit – Employee’s Responsibilities

If you intend to leave the organisation, you must agree your last working day and termination date (if different taking into account annual leave) with your Manager.

On your last working day you must return to your Manager all relevant documents and equipment that belong to the Board including your Security Pass, Parking Permit, IT hardware, phones, keys etc.

Before you leave it is good practice to complete an exit interview questionnaire which can be completed through eESS employee self service: Exit Interview Standard Operating Procedure. Your Manager may also wish to conduct a face to face Employee Exit Interview with you.

Employee Exit – Manager’s Responsibilities

When a member of staff is leaving NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, we would ask that all managers ensure appropriate steps are taken to assist their exit and to ensure the relevant paperwork and Board belongings are returned. The leaver’s checklist below will ensure you follow all relevant steps required when an employee is leaving.

The employee can complete an exit interview through eESS employee self service. You and/ or the employee may also find it beneficial to undertake a face to face discussion to find out and further record particular details about the employee’s decision to leave and their views about their experience of working in NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde. 

Fixed Term Contracts

The Fixed Term Policy applies to all individuals who work under a fixed term contract of employment. The purpose of the policy is to provide clear principles and values which will govern the appropriate use of fixed-term contracts ensuring compliance with legislation governing fixed-term employees.

The policy provides a procedure for dealing with fixed-term contracts which is fair and equitable and has both the interests of the employee and the effective operation of the service as its goals.

Top Tips on using the policy:

  1. All fixed-term contracts should have a start and end date or specified duration.
  2. Fixed-Term contracts should have no more than two renewals within any one year period (unless this can be objectively justified).
  3. Fixed-Term employees should not be treated any less favourably than permanent employees.
  4. All fixed-term contract employees should have their position reviewed mid-term.

Policy

NHSGGC is committed to using permanent contracts of employment as the norm, with fixed term contracts only being used where necessary and appropriate.  This policy applies to all individuals who work under a fixed term contract.  The policy has been developed in partnership, and  meets the minimum standards set out in the Fixed Term Contracts Partnership Information Network (PIN) Policy and reflects current employment legislation.

Board Fixed Term Contracts Policy

Please contact the HR Support and Advice Unit if you wish clarification on the application of this policy.

Fixed Term Contracts Policy Guidance

What is a fixed term contract?

A fixed-term contract of employment is defined as a contract of employment which: has a definite start and end date, or terminates automatically when a particular task is completed, or terminates after a specific event or project is concluded. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is committed to using permanent contracts of employment as the norm, with fixed-term contracts only being used where necessary and appropriate. Furthermore, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is committed to treating those employed on fixed-term contracts no less favourably than its permanent employees (unless this can be objectively justified).

Who does the Fixed Term Contract Policy apply to?

The policy applies to all individuals who work under a fixed term contract of employment (i.e. for a specific time that is fixed in advance; or terminates on the completion of a particular task; or terminates on upon the occurrence or non-occurrence of any other specified event).

When should Fixed Term Contracts be used?

In certain exceptional circumstances, fixed-term contracts may be a valuable tool to enable managers to cover short-term gaps in essential services, enabling consistent standards of service to be maintained. Fixed Term Contracts should only be used for a time limited, short term option of less than 2 years (unless objectively justified). Examples of where Fixed Term Contracts may be used are:

  • Protecting posts for staff due to organisational change
  • Covering leave (e.g. sickness, maternity leave)
  • Project or research posts
  • Posts which are not funded on a recurring basis
  • Backfill for short-term secondment

Useful information when advertising for a Fixed Term Contract

The duration of the contract must be clearly defined and the reason for the fixed-term nature of the post.The fixed-term nature of the post should be clearly evident in the advertisement, job information pack, letter offering employment and subsequent contract of employment. It should also be discussed at interview.

Where existing permanent employees apply for a fixed-term contract, and where NHS GG&C does permit such an appointment, it must be made clear (in writing) to the employee that in doing so their existing permanent contract has come to an end, and their new contract is fixed-term.

Where there is a need to make the post permanent

Where there is a requirement to make the post permanent the post should be advertised in the normal way. Where successive fixed-term contacts apply staff may be automatically appointed to the post in line with the criteria in Section 6.2 of the policy.

Process to be followed for non-renewals of Fixed Term Contracts

Where it is known that an employee’s fixed term contract will not be renewed upon expiry, the relevant manager with the authority to dismiss must meet with the employee, ideally three months prior to the expiry date of the contract to discuss the following:

  • Confirm that the fixed term contract will not be renewed and to confirm the grounds for non renewal
  • To serve the employee with notice in line with their contract of employment and that their contract will be terminated on its expiry date
  • To advise the employee that they will be placed on the redeployment register, and to discuss the redeployment process. The employee should be advised that they will remain on the register until date of the fixed-term contract
  • To confirm where appropriate, any redundancy payment which will apply should suitable alternative employment not be obtained.
  • To discuss any other matters in preparation for the termination date.
  • For those with service under 2 years, or where it is known that the contract will not be renewed within 3 months of the date achieving 2 years service, if the employee had not secured an alternative post prior to the end of their notice period, their employment will be terminated at the end of their contract period.
  • Employees in excess of 2 years service (with successive Fixed Term Contracts) will be appointed onto a permanent contract where the following criteria is met in full:
  • The employee has held fixed term contracts consecutively which were used to protect posts for permanent staff due to planned organisational change, service reconfiguration or redeployment, and
  • The member of staff has been employed for more than 2 years, and
  • Recurring funds for the post beyond the two-year period exist, which can be used to retain the member of staff, or a positive risk assessment has been carried out to establish the impact on the organisation should it be non-recurring funding.
  • (In situations where an employee achieves two years’ service, and it is known that the contract will not be renewed within three months of the date of achieving two years’ service, the individual’s contract of employment will remain fixed term).

The material contained in this section is management guidance, rather than guidance that has been agreed in partnership.

The HR Support and Advice Unit can be contacted on 0141 278 2700 if you have any further questions or need advice on this policy area.

Fixed Term Contracts Tools and Templates

To support the application of the use of Fixed Term Contacts a number of templates are available. Please contact the HR Support and Advice Unit who will guide you accordingly.

Student Fixed Term Contracts

We would like to welcome all students who have started or are about to start employment with NHSGGC. You will find a number of FAQ’s below that will hopefully be helpful to you in the initial stages of joining NHS GGC as an employee. For more general information about your terms and conditions, including the NHS Scotland Workforce Polices, you will find this on HR Connect.

Please take the time to review the following documents and our frequently asked questions.

Preparing to start as a clinical Health Care Support Worker Document

Retirement

This guidance applies to all substantive employees who wish to retire and facilitates a smooth transition from work to leisure. 

Phased Retiral Policy

Employees are entitled to Phased Retiral if they are applying for their State Pension or Occupational Pension (SPPA) and terminating their employment with the Organisation

A gradual reduction in hours may be introduced three months before retiring, for example:

Third month before retiral: work 4 days per week

Second month: work 3 days p/w

Last month: work 2 days p/w

* Pro-rata for part time staff

Employees will have the opportunity to attend a pre-retirement course to prepare them for their retirement.

For employees with 20 years or more continuous service with NHS GG&C, line managers can apply for a Retiral Gift Voucher.

Please contact the HR Support and Advice Unit if you have any questions in relation to this policy.

Guidance

Employees are entitled to Phased Retiral is they are applying for their State Pension or Occupational Pension (SPPA) and terminating their employment with the Organisation.

How does Phased Retiral work?

For a full time employee working 5 days per week for example, a gradual reduction in hours would be as follows:

  • Third month before retiral: 4 days per week
  • Two months before retiral: 3 days per week
  • One month before retiral: 2 days per week

For part time staff, this is calculated on a pro rata basis. 

Will I receive my normal pay during a phased retiral?

Yes. Employees will receive their normal pay during a phased retiral – this being their standard hours. This does not include unearned overtime or on-call payments out with standard hours.

How do I arrange a phased retiral?

Employees should inform their line manager of their intentions to retire and whether they wish a phased retiral at the earliest opportunity in order to benefit from this. They should then agree a phased retiral plan with their line manager. A retiral plan can be drawn up and should take into account any annual leave remaining to be used on leading up to retirement. 

For employees who are members of the SPPA pension scheme:

  • Pension applications and notification of termination should be completed 4-6 months before the date of retiral in order to ensure that pensions are paid timeously. Pension application forms can be downloaded here.
  • Termination forms should be completed by line managers.
  • Completed applications and termination forms should be and returned to Payroll:

NHSGG&C Payroll Department
Caledonia House
140 Fifty Pitches Road
Cardonald Park
Glasgow
G51 4ED

If you require advice on completing your pension application form, please contact the SPPA directly on 01896 893 000

Retiral Gift Voucher

Employees with more than 20 years continuous service with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde will be entitled to a Retiral Gift Voucher as detailed below:

  • With more than 20 years continuous service with NHSGGC but less than 30 years: £100
  • With 30 or more years continuous service with NHSGGC but less than 40 years: £150
  • With 40 or more years continuous service with NHSGGC: £250

Line Managers must take responsibility to make arrangements for employees’ long service to be recognised by completing the Retiral Gift Voucher form.

Pre-Retirement Courses

Employees have the opportunity to attend a pre-retirement course where they will have access to a wide range of information to help them prepare for their retirement.

Course information and booking forms are available from Learning and Education.

Health check from Occupational Health

To encourage a long and healthy retiral, employees will have access to a health check and advice from the Occupational Health Service. To arrange a health check contact OH on 0141 201 0600.

The HR Support and Advice Unit can be contacted on 0141 278 2700 if you have any further questions or need advice on this policy area.

Retiral Gift Vouchers

Application Process

Line managers complete all sections of the Retiral Gift Voucher Application, including providing (or obtaining) a relevant management signature for Section D.

Endowments cannot process any application sent directly to them before it has been countersigned by HR. In order for HR do the requisite checks and countersign the form, line managers can send it to the HR Support and Advice Unit by either of the following methods:

  • HR.Support@ggc.scot.nhs.uk (the original form can then be placed in the employee’s personal file); or                           
  • HR Support and Advice Unit, 2nd Floor, West Glasgow ACH, Dalnair Street, Glasgow G3 8SJ  (advisable to scan or photocopy for future reference before sending originals by internal mail or post).

Completed forms will then be checked, counter-signed and automatically sent by HR straight to Endowments on the line manager’s behalf. If there is any issue with the processing the application HR will contact the manager first to discuss.

Endowments Section process vouchers and contact the line manager to arrange collection from Endowments Section, Finance Department, Caledonia House 140 Fifty Pitches Road, Cardonald Glasgow G51 4ED for presentation to the employee.

Should the employee choose not to have a presentation, the line manager must arrange for the vouchers to be delivered to the employee before the retirement date accompanied by a suitable letter.

For more information please see Board Retiral Gift Guidance

SPPA Age Retirement Form

Scottish Public Pensions Agency – Changes to our retirement application forms February 2022

Based on feedback from you, we have made some changes to our retirement forms, modifying the NHS RET form into two separate forms, one for Practitioner members called the PRAC:RET and one for all other NHS workers called the NHS:RET.

This process will make things simpler for you, allowing a smoother process from application to calculation.

PRAC:RET Form

The new Practitioner retirement form should be used by any member that has held Practitioner service at any time during their career.

The PRAC:RET form has undergone cosmetic changes and the priority of the Practitioner elements have been re-ordered. Further explanations have been added regarding Practitioner terminology, to make filling in the form easier.

There are no changes to the retirement process for our Practitioner members or employers, this form simply replaces the old one.

NHS:RET Form

Members who have only had their service reported as Officer service will continue to use the standard retirement form, NHS:RET

The NHS:RET form has undergone cosmetic changes including the removal of the Practitioner sections.

What you need to do

Please start using the new forms. We realise there may be members who are actively filling in the older form or have an older version saved to complete at a later date. Please continue to complete this form, we expect to see a gradual transition to the use of the new forms.

You can access the new forms here.

If you or any of your colleagues have any questions regarding this change, please contact us at sppacontactus@gov.scot and we will try our best to help.

SPPA Guidance for Active Members:

http://www.sppa.gov.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=36&Itemid=19

Voluntary Retirement and Re-Employment

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde values diversity and recognises the significant experience and knowledge that our staff with long service contribute to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. The Board works within a changing demography and as the population grows older, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s employment practices need to adapt to reflect the increasing age of our workforce and provide staff with flexibility in managing their financial future by creating options to work post retirement.

Therefore, the following guidance is aimed at all staff who decide to retire but expresses a desire to return to work on a part or full time basis. This guidance provides information on how this may be applied fairly and consistently.

Guidance on Voluntary Retirement and Re-Employment 

It is important to note, there is no automatic right for an employee to return to work following retirement. Any decision to return as a result of a service requirement and in line with this guidance requires the agreement of the relevant senior manager and considered on a case by case basis. 

In the first instance please discuss the options with your line manager and you may also wish to contact SPPA on 01896 893000 (if a member) to establish and understand impact on pension benefits and obtain an Application Form.

If you would like like to discuss any part of the guidance in more detail, please contact the HR Support and Advice Enquiry Team on 0141 278 2700 option 2. 

The UK Coronavirus Act 2020 (“the 2020 Act”) temporarily suspends a number of provisions in the NHS Pension Scheme (Scotland) (NHSPS[S]) relating to abatement for staff who retire and become re-employed in the NHS, including:

  • the ‘16-hour rule’, which prevents members who return to work after retirement from the 1995 scheme from working more than 16 hours per week in the first calendar month after retirement;
  • abatement for special class status holders in the 1995 Scheme; and,
  • draw down abatement in the 2008 Section and 2015 Scheme

 The Act will expire on 25 March 2022, the temporary suspensions will end and the regulations around abatement will automatically come back into force.

 These suspensions have given valuable additional capacity that retired staff are currently providing to NHS Scotland as it continues to tackle the pandemic, deliver the vaccination programme and implement the Covid recovery plan. As occupational pensions policy is reserved to the UK government, any changes to extend the suspension of abatement provisions requires the consent of HM Treasury (HMT).

 The Cabinet Secretary wrote to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 6 January 2022 to convey the importance of extending the suspended provisions and to urge HMT to provide their consent, and we can confirm that HMT have agreed to extend the suspension of pension abatement until 31 October 2022.

 The extension of these provisions will be achieved via temporary changes to the NHSPS(S) regulations, rather than through an extension to the 2020 Act.

 SPPA officials will shortly issue a circular to all employers and staff confirming that the abatement regulations will remain suspended until 31 October 2022 and will introduce time limited changes to the statutory scheme rules via an amending regulations.

 The regulations will be introduced on 1st April 2022 but will have retrospective effect to 25 March 2022 to ensure a seamless continuation of the suspensions.