Press Release Press Release Press Release Press

7 June 2000

NHS MENTAL HEALTH PART-TIMERS SET FOR
MILLIONS PENSIONS' PAY-OUT

Thousands of part-time NHS mental health workers are to receive large pension pay-outs, totaling millions of pounds, following a Department of Health retreat from their previous legal stance.

The pensions, which could be backdated to 1976, will mean that the part-timers will receive substantial "top-ups" to their pensions, can retire at 55 instead of 60, and earn double pension for each year served after 20 years employment caring for mental patients.

Health union, MSF, in association with other unions, had successfully pressed Employment Tribunal claims on behalf of clinical psychologists, doctors and nurses working with mental patients.

And now the Health Department has withdrawn its appeal against the ruling that these benefits had to be paid to part-time employees.

Roger Lyons, MSF General Secretary said: "This is another step on the road towards equal rights for part time employees which will benefit many health service employees working in demanding jobs. This builds on the recent European Court judgment which suggested part time employees denied pension benefits could claim backdates compensation."

Roger Kline, MSF Head of Health said: "This is another landmark victory in the fight to ensure that NHS part-timers, who are often women, receive pensions' justice. This victory will cost the Treasury millions of pounds and will benefit thousands of NHS part-timers. It is a long overdue victory against sex discrimination in the NHS."

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NOTE FOR NEWS DESKS

The NHS pensions scheme has a special set of benefits reserved for members whose work is with mental patients and who qualify for Mental Health Officer status. Until now this has been reserved for those working full-time and who started working in this area prior to 1995.

Now all part-time staff who started before 1995 will also qualify and the Department of Health has promised to look at the cases of all relevant part time staff.

For further information, please contact

Roger Kline 0468 69 39 34
Shaun Noble Press Officer (020) 7939 7043 Mobile 0468 69 39 40

MSF press releases can be seen on our web site: www.msfhealth.org

MSF represents 65,000 health service professionals including the Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists, laboratory scientific staff, the College of Health Care Chaplains, the Community Psychiatric Nurses Association, the Medical Practitioners' Union, clinical psychologists, speech therapists, the Hospital Physicists Association and the Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association.

MSF has 400,000 skilled and professional members in a wide range of industries. It is the UK's fifth largest union.


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