BMA wins permission for Judicial Review challenging the Government’s attempt to make NHS staff pay for the Government’s unlawful actions

by BMA media team

Press release from the BMA

Location: England
Published: Tuesday 5 July 2022

Responding to news that the BMA has been granted permission to take up a Judicial Review appealing the Government’s attempts to make members pay for the McCloud remedy,1 Dr Vishal Sharma, chair of the BMA pensions committee, said:

“It’s hugely significant that the BMA has been granted permission to proceed to Judicial Review appealing the Government’s attempts to make members pay for the McCloud age discrimination remedy.

“The Government acted unlawfully when reforming the NHS pension scheme in 2015, and consequently is obligated to fix its mistakes. However, instead of paying for this mistake itself, it has tried to pass this cost onto members. In effect, it is asking NHS staff and other public sector workers to pay for the Government’s unlawful actions.

“The NHS pensions scheme was effectively in a surplus position at its last valuation and there was agreement between unions and the Government to increase benefits and reduce costs to bring the scheme back into balance. However, not only has the Government reneged on this agreement, but is also now trying to manipulate the process in order to avoid implementing the increase in benefits that NHS staff are entitled to. 

“The Government continues to get things wrong when dealing with the NHS pension scheme and still fails to understand the detrimental impact that the complex NHS pension system and punitive pension taxation arrangements are having on members. In fact, these are some of the key reasons for falling recruitment and retention in the health service. 

“The BMA will continue to fight on behalf of its members to protect them from the Governments indefensible approach to NHS pensions. To have been granted permission to now take up a Judicial Review case to be heard by the High Court is another major achievement. The Fire Brigade Union has also issued a similar case. As it overlaps with ours, their case will be heard alongside ours. We will continue to do everything we can in order to hold the Government to account.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

The BMA is a trade union and professional association representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.

  1. For background on the McCloud remedy, please click here.