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Ill-health retirement for members of the University of St Andrews Superannuation and Life Assurance Scheme

At present, neither Human Resources nor local management routinely meets with members of staff who are off on long-term ill-health absence or have a pattern of regular absence of this kind. It is now, however, proposed that, henceforth, Human Resources and the relevant local manager will normally arrange to meet with an employee either.

  • after a period of continuous absence 8 weeks;
  • at the request of Occupational Health;
  • in the case of persistent short-term absence or in relation to issues of sicknessrelated underperformance.

At these meetings, discussion should take place with regard to any reasonable adjustments that may be put in place to assist an individual to return to work or achieve more regular working. Human Resources will then provide a report to Occupational Health stating what specific advice it requires from the unit on the basis of the latter’s full assessment of the individual and their job.

In any event, after a period of absence of six months’ duration, Human Resources will automatically request Occupational Health to complete a comprehensive report on the absence which will clearly indicate if it is likely that an individual will be able to undertake his/her existing duties in the foreseeable future even with reasonable adjustments and additional sources of support. In the event of the requested report suggesting that this is unlikely, a meeting, between Human Resources, the Deputy Principal and the individual, will take place to discuss, inter alia, other employment options for the employee in the University. Human Resources will then, when a defined course of action has been identified at or immediately subsequent to the meeting, provide a further report to Occupational Health with regard to the outcome of the meeting so that if, for example, an individual is to make an application to the pension fund for early retiral on the grounds of ill-health, Occupational Health receives all previous relevant documentation and can, therefore, provide Human Resources with all necessary reports (occupational health functional report, general practitioners’ opinion, etc) for the Trustees’ information and consideration. Human Resources will then pass the appropriate forms to the Trustees when, but only when, it is satisfied that there is sufficient information to allow it to give incisive advice on the case for possible ill-health retirement to the Trustees. The Trustees will then determine the case, but will, in the event of their requiring further advice, refer the case, at this stage, to an independent assessor in the form of an occupational health consultancy which is not otherwise employed by the University, (like, for example, Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Services, Fife Health Board (OHSAS)), for final determination.

Note

  1. In order to ensure consistency of senior management approach in relation to ill-health retirement and related matters, all cases of early retirement (ill-health or otherwise) and severance in the University will, in future, be dealt with by the Deputy Principal on behalf of the Principal’s Office.
  2. In cases in relation to which it is unlikely that an individual will be able to return to work in the near future and ill-health retirement is not an option, the University may seek to terminate the contract by reason of medical incapacity by mutual agreement with the individual employee concerned or through execution of the University’s capability procedure.