You and the Law – 8th June 2010

Pension on parade

My son’s wife has left him for another man.  My son was in the Army for 13 years, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, but his wife says she can now claim half of the pension that rightly belongs to him.  They have three children, one of whom has stayed with him.  He is now awaiting divorce.  DR

It is not quite so straightforward as that, but it’s true that pensions can be shared or split on divorce, and Army pensions are no exception.  Your son should see a solicitor as soon as possible for advice about who might be entitled to what.

If your son and his wife cannot reach an agreement about splitting their finances they will have to ask a court to decide at an ancillary relief hearing.
Usually a court would only look at dividing a pension if it wasn’t possible to split the family assets in any other way.

Unpaid illness

My daughter has worked at a private nursery for over 12 months.  About a fortnight ago she had to take two days off sick.  She phoned in before 9am on the first day, but when she received her wages the following week she was informed she wouldn’t be paid for the two days she was off.  I thought sick pay was compulsory once you completed 12 months’ service?  CT

Everyone who pays national insurance contributions is entitled to statutory sick pay.  But you receive nothing for the first three days you miss work.

Some employers continue to pay workers when they’re off sick, but it sounds as though there’s no such provision in your daughter’s employment contract.  If she has no written contract, or her contract doesn’t mention sick pay, her entitlement will depend on whether the nursery customarily pays staff when they are off sick.

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