Strike action: hardship fund requests and pension payments

Don’t let the fear of loss of pay or pension stop you from joining in UNISON’s industrial action on October 14!

Due to financial pressures, we understand that for some members taking industrial action is a really difficult decision. To help you, the West Sussex Branch Committee has agreed to pay hardship payments. You can also choose to make your pension contribution for the strike day.

Claiming hardship payments

If you earn less than £21,000 per year full-time-equivalent salary (the Government’s own official low-pay indicator), you can apply for a hardship payment of up to half your gross loss of pay.

If you want this support, you must fill in our simple form and send us a copy of your payslip. This will clearly show the pay deducted. It is expected that November’s payroll will be the month in which pay is deducted for October 14’s strike day.

As the Branch pays half the loss of gross pay, the amount you receive back from the union may be slightly more than half of your net loss of pay, depending on your rate of tax.

If industrial action brings pre-existing financial problems to the surface, you can make a request for support to the UNISON Welfare Fund (now called ‘There for you’) at any time. More information is available on ‘There for you’ on our website.

Making a pension contribution

Any time you spend on strike does not count toward the calculation of your pension ‘pot’, but Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) members can purchase ‘lost pension’ for this time.

To do this, you need to apply online through the LGPS website using the Additional Pension Contributions Calculator at

This estimates how much the ‘lost pension’ will cost you because you have to pay both your own and your employer’s contribution for the strike period. You will need a copy of your payslip as this shows the amount of pay deducted for that period. This is used to calculate your ‘lost pension’.

Since the new LGPS 2014 scheme was introduced, you are responsible for making the online application yourself. This service is no longer provided by payroll. If you have any problems, please let the Branch office know.