Revealed: Brighton council spends millions on staff payouts

King's House, home of Brighton and Hove City Council

King’s House, home of Brighton and Hove City Council

A city council spend more than £6 million pounds over four years to compensate former employees.

Figures I obtained through a Freedom of Information request  show that between January 2010 and March 2014, a total of 436 employees at Brighton and Hove City Council have received compensation for loss of office under a settlement agreements.

The cost of ‘releasing’ these individuals was £6,333,944.90.


Compensation for loss of office is  made in cases where the council’s compensation panel considers that:

  • the level of legal risk indicates settlement of an issue should be considered;
  • there is a clear business case from a financial and organisational perspective that demonstrates the benefits and why alternative solutions are not viable
  • a settlement agreement is both necessary and proportionate in the circumstances

About one third of agreements entered into each year relate to employees who were employed in schools. The council says a “significant number” of the individuals took voluntary redundancy under its  voluntary severance scheme offered to staff in 2011/12 and again in 2013/14.


In  accordance with the statutory requirements, the council has, since the 2010/11 financial year, published in its annual accounts the amounts paid to employees in connection with the termination of their employment, if their total remuneration is over £50,000.


The requirement is to publish these amounts by job title if the total remuneration is between £50,000 and £150,000 and by name if it is over £150,000. Links to the relevant parts of the Council’s Statement of Accounts for the financial years 2010/11, 2011/12 and 2012/13 and 2013/14 are given below.


A spokeswoman for the council said: “The individuals cited in these accounts are not in addition to the 436 referred to above.  However, we should point out that in a significant number of cases it has not been possible, due to the way in which the information has been recorded, to identify the split between the contractual and non-contractual elements of the final payment made to these individuals.  This means that the figure of £6,333,944.90 will not accurately represent the compensation for loss of office for these individuals.”