Dealing with absences
These pages are for employer use only. Member information can be found on the home page.
There are many types of employee absences that you will be faced with as an employer. It is important that you know how to deal with these situations if they arise. Some examples include:
- Unpaid leave of absence
- Paid child related leave
- Unpaid child related leave
- Strike break because of a trade dispute
You should always send us the PEN004 form when an employee decides to buy back lost pension.
What happens if a member is off sick?
During a period of sick leave your employer contributions will continue to be the same.
If the employee receives any pay whilst off sick they will pay contributions on this. However, an employee’s benefits will continue to build up as if they were working normally and receiving full pay.
If an employee moves onto unpaid sick leave, they will not pay any contributions. But, your employer contributions will continue as normal.
What pay is used to calculate benefits if the employee leaves the LGPS and has been on reduced/no pay?
You will need to use the employee’s assumed pensionable pay.
For more information on this, see the section on Assumed Pensionable Pay.
If an employee goes on strike they can choose to cover the cost of ‘lost’ pension with an Additional Pension Contribution (APC). This can be 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 employee.
What do employers need to do during strike action?
You must always:
Inform employees of the LGPS regulations and their right to buy ‘lost’ pension.
You should provide them with the amount lost and refer 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 an employee does not have internet access you should help them with their calculation.
Action: You must let us know if an employee has gone on strike and chosen to repay the contributions. You should also confirm when there has been a strike but none of your employees took part. If they do take part you should let us know the employee’s name, National insurance number, payroll number(s), unique identifier(s) of the post(s) in which the employee took industrial action (if they have more than one job) and the date(s) of absence.
If you do not tell us about an employee paying back the lost pension, we will assume that the day of the strike doesn’t count for pension purposes. This is particularly important for members with pre 1st April 2014 service, as lost membership still affects these benefits.
Unpaid child related or unpaid authorised leave
If an employee has unpaid child related leave, or authorised unpaid leave they can buy the lost pension back. They can pay an Additional Pension Contribution (APC) or a Shared Cost APC.
If your employee has, or will be, undertaking unpaid leave you should bring this to their attention as soon as possible. They will have up to 30 days of returning to work to decide whether or not to buy back the lost pension. If they decide to buy it back, you will have to cover 2/3rds of the cost and the employee will pay the remaining third. This will be a Shared Cost APC.
If they decide they want to buy it back after 30 days, they will bear the full cost themselves, unless you have agreed otherwise. You may wish to include this in your discretion policy.
An employee can find out how much they will have to pay by using the online calculator on the LGPS website. If your employee does not have access to the calculator then you will need to undertake the calculation on their behalf.
Once the AVC has been set up, you will be notified. You will need to inform payroll of the amount being taken, the start date, and make the necessary changes on iConnect. Please send us a copy of the form you receive about the APC/Shared Cost APC.