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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 66466
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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My wife has had MS for the last 13 years and her employers

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my wife has had MS for the last 13 years and her employers are aware of this, she has gradually been having here hours reduced over the last few years, but now has got to the point that she cannot continue in her role and has asked for early retirement due to ill health. However here employer has ssid she cannot retire due to ill health grounds as she has not been off long term sick long enough. Is this correct
JA: Has your wife discussed this with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: she has spoken with her manager who in turn has spokent with HR and that is the answer they have came back with
JA: Does the workplace operate with employees, freelancers, consultants, contractors or with unionised employees?
Customer: she works for cambridge county council as a health care assistant and is not part of a union
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: wife's main concern is because of her condition she may fall and lose balance and possibly injure the person she is supposed to be caring, so it is not just about her health it is possibly putting other people at risk

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today. I may also need to ask some questions to determine the legal position.

How long has she worked there for? Please note I am mobile today so may not be able to reply until later today thanks

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Since May 2000
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
rather just type

Thank you. If she was to retire early would she get any benefits from the employer?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
She is in their pension scheme but other than that do not believe she will get any other benifits. Pension company did send us some early retirement documents to fill in but as it was retirement due to ill health it has to be initiated by the employer that is when HR came and said she could not retire due to ill health and if she decided to leave then it would be normal early retirement using the form sent by pension company.

SO if she leaves voluntarily will she be able to access her workplace pension?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
but at reduced rate, which is fine just seems the HR department is just going for easy option and not wanting to get involved. Just want to make sure my wife is getting all that she is entitled to, think that after 19 years that is the least to ask.

Yes of course, I would do the same. So a person can retire early at any time but whether they can draw any of their pensions will depend on various factors, such as whether they have reached the State Pension Age for the State Pension, or if they meet the criteria to draw any occupational pension scheme.

In terms of the employer giving the go ahead themselves to allow the early retirement, that would depend on any internal policies and what they say, plus whether the relevant criteria have been met. They say that she has not been off long enough and that is not a legal requirement so they may be relying on some internal policy and you can ask them to point you to it to verify if that is the case.

If there is no dedicated policy which provides for a minimum period of sickness for them to allow early retirement, you can challenge them that they are not relying on any legal provisions and that they have made up their own rules.

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
thank you

All the best

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