The injury allowance guides for both employers and employees have been updated to clarify specific exemptions of the NHS injury allowance scheme.
The scheme, which was introduced on 31 March 2013, covers NHS staff who sustain physical or psychiatric injury or contract disease attributable to their employment.
NHS staff who are injured or become ill due to their employment may be entitled to financial assistance if their pay is reduced as a result of their health problems.
Injury allowance is a payment made by NHS employers to eligible employees that tops up sick pay, or earnings when on a phased return to work, to 85% of pay.
New support materials have been produced by the NHS Staff Council to further clarify the provisions for both employers and employees.
The updated guides provide more clarity on the exemption that prevents people from receiving an injury allowance for conditions that are under dispute.
The employer’s document states: “This exemption is intended to prevent people from receiving injury allowance for conditions that are under dispute, for example stress related sickness absence whilst being investigated for misconduct or bullying.
“It is important the allowance should not automatically be withheld from a member of staff who is off sick as a result of being bullied and who has made a complaint that is being investigated, but payment will depend on the facts of the case itself,” it says.
The allowance should not be withheld from a member of staff who is in dispute with their employer over a matter completely unrelated to their sickness absence, the guidelines say.
For example, a staff member who is challenging a wage error then has a work related slip or trip accident that leads to significant physical injury and a lengthy period of time off work would be entitled to the allowance.