Employment Appeal Tribunal
HELD: Where an employee was long-term absent through ill health and the employer's pension scheme contained enhanced provisions for ill-health retirement on the ground of permanent incapacity, fairness required the reasonable employer to take reasonable steps to ascertain whether the employee was entitled to the benefit of ill-health retirement before dismissing him for incapacity. An employer who did so would generally meet the standard set out in the Employment Rights Act 1996 s.98(4). The tribunal had not erred in approaching H's case on that basis. Prior to his dismissal, the question of whether H's condition was permanent was never answered. The tribunal had been entitled to find that F should have waited for a specialist's opinion before reaching its decision. Further, the tribunal had been entitled to find that it was unreasonable to make H choose between dismissal and retention on the condition that he give up any right he might have to ill-health retirement. There was no clear evidence at that stage whether H was entitled to such a pension and no justification for imposing such a choice.
 IRLR 956
EMPLOYMENT, EARLY RETIREMENT, ILL HEALTH, OCCUPATIONAL PENSIONS.
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