Dealing with employee absences

Publication date: 28/02/2022 10:58:37

There are many types of member absences that you'll be faced with as an employer. It's important that you know how to deal with these situations if they arise.

Whatever the absence, don't forget that you should always send us the PEN004 form when a member decides to buy back lost pension.

Examples of absence include:

Strike break because of a trade dispute

If a member goes on strike they can choose to cover the cost of the ‘lost’ pension through additional pension contributions (APCs), paid regularly or as a one-off lump sum. For trade disputes (and any other unauthorised absences), the APC will always be fully funded by the member.

You must tell members about their right to buy ‘lost’ pension, tell them the amount lost and send them to the LGPS website where they can find more information, along with the additional pension calculator and the required forms. This calculator will show them how much they need to pay to make up the lost pension. If they don't have internet access you should help them with their calculation.

You must also let us know if a member's gone on strike and chosen to repay the contributions. You should also confirm when there has been a strike but none of the members took part.
If members do take part in strike action then you should let us know their name, national insurance number, payroll number(s), unique identifier(s) of the post(s) in which the member took industrial action (if they have more than one job) and the date(s) of absence.

Unpaid child related leave/authorised unpaid leave

If a member has unpaid child related leave or authorised unpaid leave, they can also buy the lost pension back with APCs or shared cost additional pension contributions (SCAPCs).

If they have, or will be, undertaking unpaid leave you should bring this to their attention as soon as possible. They'll have up to 30 days of returning to work to decide to buy back the lost pension. If they decide to buy it back, you'll have to cover two thirds of the cost and the member will pay the remaining third. This will be a SCAPC.

If they decide they want to buy it back after 30 days, they'll bear the full cost themselves, unless you have agreed otherwise. You may wish to include this in your discretion policy.
A member can find out how much they will have to pay by using the online calculator on the LGPS website. If they don't have access to the calculator then you'll need to undertake the calculation on their behalf.

Once the APC has been set up, you'll need to tell payroll of the amount being taken, the start date, and make the necessary changes on i-Connect. Please send us a copy of the form you receive about the APC/SCAPC.

Period of sickness

During a period of sick leave your employer contributions will stay the same. If the member receives any pay whilst off sick, then they will pay contributions on this, and their benefits will continue to build up as if they were working normally and receiving full pay.
If a member moves on to unpaid sick leave, they will not pay any contributions but your employer contributions will continue as normal.