27 June 2012

Murray minted

Stewart Murray was certainly minted when he was made redundant which was reported on 20 June 11 and the redundancy payment was actually made on 30 June 11. Mr Mustard was a bit fast out of the blocks with his FOI request and got it in on 22 June 11 not that it made any difference as it was refused, the review was refused, and the ICO refused on the grounds of planned future publication. This is a valid ground for refusal but if it was good news you can be sure that the tooting twister would have had it up on the front page of the council website before you could unwrap a Murray Mint.

When information is only published once a year it strikes Mr Mustard that the FOI exemption needs reining back a little to perhaps 3 months. We will see if the current review of FOI by the Justice Select committee changes anything. Mr Mustard did put his evidence in for consideration.

So what were Barnet Council so fearful of Mr Mustard finding out? Well the draft annual accounts for March 2012 are now out and on page 75 it shows that the payoff was


No wonder Barnet Council wanted to keep it quiet.

In the previous full employment year ended 31 March 2011, Stewart Murray was "only" paid


so he received 1.2 times his annual salary.

The council policy for redundancy payoffs (March 11 edition) had a maximum payoff equivalent to pay for 30 weeks if you were aged over 61 and had 20 years of service. Not Stewart then.

However there is a cute little paragraph which doesn't say "for senior management only"
a bit like "For New Customers Only"
but it might as well, which says:

In certain genuinely exceptional circumstances, consideration can be given to making a one-off payment, based on the merits of each individual case, up to the maximum permitted under the regulations* (i.e. 104 weeks’ pay calculated on a sum up to the employee’s actual week’s pay) taking into account continuous service with employees listed under the Redundancy Payments Continuity of Employment in Local Government etc) (Modification) Order 1999). There will be no right for employees to access this payment and the decision will be made on the circumstances as they relate to the particular individual. The payment incorporates the employee’s statutory redundancy entitlement.

What was genuinely exceptional? Maybe it is time that the GFC set out very tightly what the certain genuinely exceptional circumstances have to be.

Mr Mustard has only ever seen this applied for the really well paid. Mr Mustard hazards that the parking back office employees paid off by NSL as soon as they were TUPE transferred didn't get over a year's pay. If you are one of them please get in touch.

Update 08.33

It seems that Stewart was not out of work for long & there is a certain lead time to get another job.  It looks more like a seamless transfer to Redbridge than anything else.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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