FRSA National Update
01 November 2023
Part-Time Workers Less Favourable Treatment Claims
In the spring of last year (March 2022), the FRSA, FBU, Home Office and the Local Government Association, agreed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) as part of the agreement to conduct a second options exercise for eligible members to join or extend membership of the Firefighters Pension Scheme 2006 as Special members of the Scheme. The key terms of that MoU have now been put into legislation called the Firefighters’ Pension Schemes (England) (Amendment) Order 2023 which came into force on 1 October 2023.
As part of the agreement, it is a requirement for the FRSA to write to Claimants (those who originally submitted a claim) within eight weeks of the commencement of the legislation (which provides the opportunity for a second options exercise to commence) notifying them of the following:
- that the FRSA considers that the legislation constitutes an effective remedy to their claims;
- that, now that the legislation has come into force, the FRSA will not provide further legal representation in respect of their claims other than support with enforcing entitlements under the legislation, including by way of reference to the Internal Disputes Resolution Procedure (IDRP) and subsequently the Pensions Ombudsman;
- inviting the individual to indicate their consent to the withdrawal of their claim in the Employment Tribunal by return slip or other suitable means.
Once the FRSA receives confirmation from the Claimant of their instruction to withdraw their complaint, we will then write to the Employment Tribunal to withdraw the claim or notify the Employment Tribunal that the FRSA will no longer represent the Claimant, if the Claimant does not agree that the second options exercise, provides a remedy to the claim.
What does that mean in plain English?
If you believe that you are in-scope/eligible to take part in the second options exercise, to join and extend your membership of the 2006 pension scheme as a Special member, to the date you first joined the fire service, and you lodged a complaint to the employment tribunal via the FRSA (previously the RFU), you will fall into the above category.
The FRSA has provided several resources that cover the background to the second options exercise and the eligibility criteria. If you are unclear on the detail, we strongly advise you to access these podcasts, information videos and/or our website.
If you still have unanswered questions, please contact FRSA Head Office via firstname.lastname@example.org
Our YouTube Channel
In our view the second options exercise (the remedy), provides a solution to your complaint and therefore your complaint has been dealt with and needs to be formally withdrawn.
To do this, please send an email to email@example.com with your full contact details and include the following text:
Fire and Rescue Service:
I hereby provide my consent to the FRSA to withdraw my complaint under the Part-Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 related to my exclusion from the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme, which was then provided solely to full-time firefighters (see Matthews v. Kent and Medway Towns Fire Authority  ICR 365).
I accept that the second options exercise to which I am eligible, provides the necessary remedy to join (or extend membership of) the New Firefighters Pension Scheme 2006 as a Special Member (subject to the payment of appropriate historic pension contributions, in respect of my service as a retained firefighter.)
Insert name here
Chief Executive Officer
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