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Retired nurses on pensions can work part-time in NHS Scotland

New interim guidance developed with NHS employers and trade unions is designed to make it quicker and easier for retiring nursing staff to return

New interim guidance developed with NHS employers and trade unions is designed to make it quicker and easier for retiring nursing staff to return

New national guidelines in Scotland will make it easier for experienced nurses to continue working for the NHS while drawing their pensions.

For the first time the Scottish Government has set out standard arrangements for supporting nurses and other NHS employees who wish to retire, but continue working for the health service part-time .

The move follows concern about a lack of flexible working opportunities for experienced nurses as they approach

New interim guidance developed with NHS employers and trade unions is designed to make it quicker and easier for retiring nursing staff to return

Retired nurses on pensions can work part-time in NHS Scotland
Picture: iStock

New national guidelines in Scotland will make it easier for experienced nurses to continue working for the NHS while drawing their pensions.

For the first time the Scottish Government has set out standard arrangements for supporting nurses and other NHS employees who wish to retire, but continue working for the health service part-time.

The move follows concern about a lack of flexible working opportunities for experienced nurses as they approach the end of their careers.

Guidance designed to make it easier for retiring nursing staff to return

The interim guidance, which was developed with NHS employers and trade unions, is designed to make it quicker and easier for retiring staff to return.

This could include nurses who wish to retire from a full-time role, but return to the same job part-time, those interested in taking on a new role or one with less responsibility or those who want to retire, but still do some bank shifts.

Scotland’s health and social care cabinet secretary Humza Yousaf said it was more important than ever to retain experienced staff as the NHS recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘Employees who are considering retirement have skills and experienced that are invaluable to the NHS and I am pleased to have been able to answer the demand for a quicker and easier process to let those who wish to continue in a part-time role to do so,’ he said.

‘This plan allows staff to apply to return to work part-time when they start the process to retire.’

RCN Scotland welcomes move, but says ‘more must be done’ for those considering leaving

The move has been welcomed by RCN Scotland, which has been pushing for more flexible options for experienced nursing staff.

RCN Scotland interim director Colin Poolman said: ‘Our members raised their concerns about the lack of flexible working opportunities for nursing staff who wished to continue their careers on reduced hours following early retirement directly with the cabinet secretary earlier this year.

‘They will be pleased to see that they have been listened too and this policy has been improved. However, more must be done. Six in ten of our members told us they are considering leaving their current job.’

A number of health boards already operate retire and return policies, but the fast-tracked guidance is designed to ensure a consistent approach among NHS employers across Scotland.

Employers have been told to implement the interim policy with immediate effect. It is set to become part of NHS Scotland’s wider retirement policy pending a review.


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