Ex-Monmouthshire councillor gets redundancy payout after being offered new job

by Redmans on October 3, 2013

  • SumoMe

A former senior employee at Monmouthshire Council recently, according to the South Wales Argus, received his redundancy payout two years after being made redundant from his original role.

Mr Andrew Keep, the former corporate director of lifelong learning and education, was made redundant in 2010 after his role was deemed to have become redundant. His role redundancy was part of a broad restructuring programme at the Council which was intended to save the local authority a total of £900,000.

After being made redundant Mr Keep was offered the new position of chief officer for children and young people for a fixed two-year period. When this fixed period of two years came to an end Mr Keep was given a payout for his original redundancy of £75,000. Paul Matthews, the Chief Executive, had recommended in the restructuring report in 2010 that Mr Keep should be offered the new 2-year role and that his redundancy payout should be deferred for 2 years so the Council could retain a “respected and highly regarded educational leader”. This recommendation was approved by Councillor Peter Fox in July 2010.

Councillor Graham Down appears to have spotted the mistake in the latest annual audit accounts of the Council and criticized the compensation, calling it a “done deal”. Councillor Down said: “It appears this was a done deal. Fundamentally the two jobs are the same so while the post may technically have been made redundant it wasn’t a redundancy. I don’t understand how a pay-off was necessary.”

A Monmouthshire Council spokesman stated: “We were keen to see continuity in our education provision, particularly as the then post holder was leading on the creation of the Gwent-wide Education Attainment Service, which was recently held up by the Welsh Government as the model for the implementation of such services around Wales. The post holder therefore agreed not to leave immediately, but to defer his redundancy for two years and take on the newly-created role, which had the education responsibilities that the corporate director post had, but a smaller salary.”

Chris Hadrill, an specialist employment law adviser at Redmans, commented on the case: “Employees have the right – if they have two or more years’ continuous employment – to receive a payoff if they are made redundant. In this case it appears that the Council and Mr Keep have agreed to defer the redundancy payment, with Mr Keep working in a new role for a further two years.”

Under UK employment laws employees with more than two years’ continuous employment are entitled to receive a basic minimum statutory redundancy payout if they are made redundant. The employee may receive more than this if their employee has a set policy of making ex-gratia payouts in redundancy situations or if the employee has a contractual right to an enhanced redundancy payout. Employees should check their contracts of employment and staff handbooks carefully if they’re being made redundant in order to determine what the size of their payout should be.

Redmans Solicitors are specialist employment solicitors offering settlement agreement advice and can help injured employees claim personal injury

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