Council Discusses Procedures To Pay Off Staff

The Town Hall

Isles of Scilly Councillors have been discussing the correct procedures for paying so-called ‘compromise agreements’ to Council staff.

That’s when employees agree to take a lump sum to drop any claim or further action against their employers. Sometimes it’s a payout to leave and not take an employment matter to court.

This follows a report at yesterday’s Policy and Resources meeting by Simon Mansell from Cornwall’s Legal Services Department, who provide legal advice to our Council.

Mr Mansell described how an agreement was made earlier this year to pay a member of Council staff. This was to prevent a dispute escalating to a costly and time-consuming industrial tribunal.

The payment, thought to be in the region of £500, was signed off by the Chief Executive, Philip Hygate, something Mr Mansell said was permitted under the rules of the Policy and Resources Committee.

Mr Mansell also told Councillors he believed that these powers had been exercised in the past for compromise agreements.

But in his report he recommended delegating responsibility for signing such agreements in the future to two officers, the Head of Human resources, Peter Lawrence-Roberts and the Head of Paid Service, Philip Hygate, together with a single elected Councillor, the Chair of the P&R committee.

He said this would allow them to move more quickly and avoid having to go back to Committees that meet infrequently.

But P&R Chairman, Cllr Amanda Martin, said she could not support that recommendation and felt more elected members had to be involved.

Cllr Chris Savill agreed they needed a process putting in place but said there should be careful consideration about who sits on the group to avoid conflicts of interest.

Councillors voted to bring a report on how delegated powers should be exercised at their next meeting in November.


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