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Bromley Council: suspended staff costs

PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 September 2018 | UPDATED: 16:04 13 September 2018

Bromley council offices

Bromley council offices

Archant

Bromley Council has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds paying the wages of nearly 50 suspended staff members, new figures have revealed.

Nearly half a million pounds has been spent on wages for staff suspended for “gross misconduct”, according to a Freedom of Information act.

A total of 48 members of staff have been suspended on full pay since 2014/15, for an average of 94 days at a time.

Out of the 48 members of staff suspended, 18 were eventually dismissed.

The council was asked to provide reasons for suspensions, and said all suspensions were for accusations of “gross misconduct”. It refused to divulge which departments staff worked in, saying that would breach data protection.

It did reveal how much money has been spent on wages for suspended staff in the last four years, which is a total of £458,983.

A spokeswoman for the council said: “Our aim is to recruit, train and retain productive, honest hardworking staff and predominantly this holds true.

“However, with the numbers involved, it is inevitable that things sometimes prove to be less than perfect. When an allegation concerning a member of staff is brought to our attention and we require time to investigate further, a decision is taken as to whether to suspend the employee while this is carried out.

“Council employees are legally entitled to be paid during this time, but we ensure that while conducting a fair investigation, we do so as quickly as possible to ensure we reach a timely decision on any further action.”

Last year alone, 11 members of staff were suspended for an average of 113 days at an estimated cost of £110,584 – four were eventually sacked.

In 2014/15, the first year the council was asked to provide figures for, £202,418 was shelled out paying the wages of 18 members of suspended staff, who were placed on leave for an average of 110 days – nearly 2,000 days in total.

In the year after, £43K was spent paying eight members of staff, who were suspended for an average of 75 days.

In 2016/17, another eight members of staff were placed on paid suspension, for an average of 66 days, at a cost of £85,419. Two members of staff were eventually dismissed.

So far this year, £17K has been spent funding three members of staff’s suspensions – but there have been no lay-offs.

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