Wakefield Council spends £165,000 on exit package for one employee

Wakefield Council spent £165,000 on an exit package for a single member of staff.

The sum, which includes both redundancy cash for the departing employee as well as pension costs, was paid out by the local authority during the last financial year.

It is not known who the member of staff was, their job title or how much they were earning before they left their role.

The council agreed pay-offs with 62 members of staff between April 2018 and March 2019, none of which were compulsory redundancies.

A total of nearly £2.3m was spent on their departures.

The figures were revealed in Wakefield Council's annual statement of accounts.

The document, which is publicly available on the organisation's website, said: "Exit packages costs include redundancy costs, the cost of additional payments to the pension scheme and other departure costs.

"In addition to the exit packages, the council has also agreed for nine employees aged 55 or above to take flexible retirement.

"This allows the employees to reduce their hours of work or grade and have their local government pension paid whilst continuing to work.

"The arrangement will deliver savings to the council from the reduction in hours or grade."

This year's figures follow revelations last July that £174,000 and £162,000 pay-offs were handed to two departing employees between 2016 and 2018.

And in 2018/19 the average cost of an exit package for a member of staff rose to £36,887, up from £21,130 two years previously.

The council said last year that voluntary departures were less expensive to fund than compulsory redundancies and that the exit packages helped to reduce long-term costs overall.

In numbers

Exit packages agreed between Wakefield Council and departing staff between April 2018 and March 2019 - 62 (total cost of £2.29m)

Number of exit packages totalling less than £20,000 - 31

Average cost of exit package for single employee 2018/19 - £36,887

Average cost of exit package for single employee 2017/18 - £36,118

Average cost of exit package for single employee 2016/17 - £21,130

Local Democracy Reporting Service