New Research: TPA estimates 7,852 council staff suspended for 2,500 working years

December 14, 2011 12:01 AM


The TaxPayers' Alliance estimates that around 7,852 council staff could have been suspended for a total of 2,500 working years since 2009. The is a projection based on a sample of 78 authorities in the Midlands which were asked how much had been spent paying the salaries of employees suspended on full pay as well as detailing the reasons they were ordered off work.


Click here to read the full report, including a breakdown by council


Click here for the full press release


The key findings of this research are:




  • Of the 78 councils across the Midlands, 69 responded and of these: 57 paid suspended employees around £8 million since April 2009. Six councils refused to provide any information, twelve did not provide salary details, one did not respond to our request and two did not record requested details of any suspended staff.

  •  Since April 2009, there have been 1,328 members of staff suspended on full pay across the Midlands, totalling more than 100,000 days. The average suspension lasted 76 working days.

  • If these figures were replicated nationally in line with the spending power of Councils in the Midlands, we estimate that since April 2009 7,852 staff would have been suspended for a total of 594,816 days, or almost 2,500 working years.

  • In 876 cases the outcome was disclosed. Of these 47 per cent left the organisation, 45 per cent were retained and 8 per cent of cases are on-going.

  • Leicester City Council paid out the most in salaries to suspended staff at almost £1.5 million for a total of 107 incidents. This is the equivalent to 16,000 working days.

  • Nottinghamshire Council had 167 cases of suspension since April 2009, the highestin the Midlands, but refused to provide any further information.

  • 78 employees across the Midlands were suspended on full pay for more than 12 months (based on a 240 working day year).

  • A manager on over £67,000 a year at Newark and Sherwood Council was suspended for 77 days before leaving the authority.

  • An employee of Leicester City Council on a salary of £48,642 was suspended for 872 days. The total wages paid during suspension was in excess of £176,000. This was the largest amount paid during suspension.

  • An employee at Lincolnshire Council on a salary of almost £65,000 a year received over £92,505 during a suspension of 523 days, before being dismissed. An employee of Nottingham City Council was suspended for 950 days – almost four years. However, no cost was provided.

  • At least 21 cases across the Midlands resulted in criminal charges. Of these, 18 members of staff did not continue in their employment, and were paid over£170,000 while suspended.

  • Of the 1,328 recorded cases of suspension, two were for sleeping whilst on duty and two for having other employment whilst on sick leave from the council. A further 15 cases were for theft including theft from service users and one incident of theft from the council and misuse of a council vehicle.

  • There were nine recorded cases of sexual misconductassault and/or harassment. There were an additional 13 cases of assault and two involving violence. There was also one alleged kidnap.




Matthew Sinclair, Director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:


"Taxpayers will be shocked that so many employees were paid for months on end whilst suspended and waiting for a decision about their future. This isn't good for taxpayers, the council or the individual involved. Local authorities must ensure that action is taken and suspensions are dealt with swiftly and cases don't drag on, leaving taxpayers picking up the bill for staff who are off work for long periods and temps to cover their absence."


Click here to read the full report, including a breakdown by council


Click here for the full press release




The TaxPayers' Alliance estimates that around 7,852 council staff could have been suspended for a total of 2,500 working years since 2009. The is a projection based on a sample of 78 authorities in the Midlands which were asked how much had been spent paying the salaries of employees suspended on full pay as well as detailing the reasons they were ordered off work.


Click here to read the full report, including a breakdown by council


Click here for the full press release


The key findings of this research are:




  • Of the 78 councils across the Midlands, 69 responded and of these: 57 paid suspended employees around £8 million since April 2009. Six councils refused to provide any information, twelve did not provide salary details, one did not respond to our request and two did not record requested details of any suspended staff.

  •  Since April 2009, there have been 1,328 members of staff suspended on full pay across the Midlands, totalling more than 100,000 days. The average suspension lasted 76 working days.

  • If these figures were replicated nationally in line with the spending power of Councils in the Midlands, we estimate that since April 2009 7,852 staff would have been suspended for a total of 594,816 days, or almost 2,500 working years.

  • In 876 cases the outcome was disclosed. Of these 47 per cent left the organisation, 45 per cent were retained and 8 per cent of cases are on-going.

  • Leicester City Council paid out the most in salaries to suspended staff at almost £1.5 million for a total of 107 incidents. This is the equivalent to 16,000 working days.

  • Nottinghamshire Council had 167 cases of suspension since April 2009, the highestin the Midlands, but refused to provide any further information.

  • 78 employees across the Midlands were suspended on full pay for more than 12 months (based on a 240 working day year).

  • A manager on over £67,000 a year at Newark and Sherwood Council was suspended for 77 days before leaving the authority.

  • An employee of Leicester City Council on a salary of £48,642 was suspended for 872 days. The total wages paid during suspension was in excess of £176,000. This was the largest amount paid during suspension.

  • An employee at Lincolnshire Council on a salary of almost £65,000 a year received over £92,505 during a suspension of 523 days, before being dismissed. An employee of Nottingham City Council was suspended for 950 days – almost four years. However, no cost was provided.

  • At least 21 cases across the Midlands resulted in criminal charges. Of these, 18 members of staff did not continue in their employment, and were paid over£170,000 while suspended.

  • Of the 1,328 recorded cases of suspension, two were for sleeping whilst on duty and two for having other employment whilst on sick leave from the council. A further 15 cases were for theft including theft from service users and one incident of theft from the council and misuse of a council vehicle.

  • There were nine recorded cases of sexual misconductassault and/or harassment. There were an additional 13 cases of assault and two involving violence. There was also one alleged kidnap.




Matthew Sinclair, Director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:


"Taxpayers will be shocked that so many employees were paid for months on end whilst suspended and waiting for a decision about their future. This isn't good for taxpayers, the council or the individual involved. Local authorities must ensure that action is taken and suspensions are dealt with swiftly and cases don't drag on, leaving taxpayers picking up the bill for staff who are off work for long periods and temps to cover their absence."


Click here to read the full report, including a breakdown by council


Click here for the full press release



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