Memorandum from the Department of Health
NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE (COMPENSATION FOR PREMATURE RETIREMENT) REGULATIONS 2002 (S.I. 2002/1311)
- The Committee has requested a memorandum in relation to the above instrument on the following points:
"The Committee found regulations 5 and 6 confusing. Explain why paragraphs (7) to (10) (which are concerned with the amount of compensation) are included in regulation 5, and why paragraphs (3) to (6) ( which appear to be concerned with the crediting of an additional period of service) are included in regulation 6."
Paragraph (7) of regulation 5 describes a situation in which compensation may be calculated in accordance with regulation 5(1) and (4) of the National Health Service (Compensation for Premature Retirement) Regulations 1981 (S.I. 1981/1263) ("the 1981 Regulations") if that would be to the advantage of the officer in question. Regulation 5(1) and (4) of the 1981 Regulations deals with the crediting to an officer of an additional period of service. The Department considers that paragraph (7) is therefore concerned with the crediting of an additional period of service which is why it is dealt with in regulation 5, although it accepts that the drafting of regulation 5(7) could have made this connection clearer.
- Paragraph (8) is concerned with the making of supplementary or discretionary payments to an officer in addition to any compensation which may be payable. Paragraphs (9) and (10) deal with the amount of compensation payable in respect of the additional period of service credited under regulation 5. The Department agrees that these paragraphs are more concerned with the calculation of compensation rather than the actual crediting of an additional period of service, and that they would have been more suitable for inclusion in regulation 6.
- Paragraphs (3) to (6) of regulation 6 deal with how the additional period of service of an entitled officer should be treated if that officer is in receipt of certain payments. The treatment of the additional period of service in such circumstances affects the amount of compensation payable in respect of that service. On balance the Department therefore considered that those paragraphs should be included in regulation 6.
"Explain why regulation 5(3) refers to an additional period of service credited under paragraph (7), given that the latter does not provide for the crediting of additional service."
- Paragraph (7) does provide for the crediting of additional service by reference to regulation 5(1) and (4) of the 1981 Regulations. The Department acknowledges that this is not apparent from the wording of paragraph (7) unless the reader cross refers to regulation 5(1) and (4) of the 1981 Regulations.
"Explain the reference to "any such additional period of service" in the last line of paragraph (5) of regulation 5, and why paragraph (1) is not made subject to that paragraph."
- The words "any such additional period of service" refer to the additional period of service mentioned in sub-paragraph (b) of paragraph (5). The additional period of service mentioned in that sub-paragraph is any additional period with which the officer may have been credited under regulation 5(1). The Department accepts that this could have been made clearer. The payments mentioned in regulation 5(5)(a)(i), (ii) and (iii) can be reduced by reference to additional service credited under regulation 5(1); where they are so reduced the additional service taken into account in calculating compensation under these Regulations is limited to 6 years and 243 days. The Department agrees that paragraph (1) should have been made subject to paragraph (5).
- The Department is grateful to the Committee for pointing out these ways in which regulations 5 and 6 might be organised more conveniently for users of the Regulations, and in which the drafting of these provisions might otherwise be improved. It will bear these points in mind when the opportunity to amend these Regulations next arises.
17 June 2002