Local authority spending on settlement agreements


Settlement agreements are legally binding agreements between an employer and an employee that set out the terms surrounding the termination of employment. The purpose of settlement agreements is to resolve any disputes between the two parties that could not be resolved as part of internal procedures, and prevent future related claims. Settlement agreements often (but not always) result in the employer paying the employee, whether that be, for example, through compensation for loss of employment or payment in lieu of notice.

This research paper shows how much money local authorities have spent on settlement agreements from 2016-2017 to 2018-2019 and breaks down the highest settlements agreed in that time by both individual councils and regions across the UK.

Click here to read the research paper

Click here to see how your local authority performed

Key findings

  • In 2016-2017, 2017-2018 and 2018-19, at least 6,980 settlement agreements were agreed between local authorities and former employees.

  • Together these settlement agreements are worth a minimum of £98,059,105.

  • The highest known settlement agreement paid to an individual was £195,463 at Stoke-on-Trent.

  • The individual local authority with the highest average payment of £79,628 was from Basingstoke & Deane. In contrast, there were 45 local authorities who reported no spend on settlement agreements at all.

  • The local authority with the highest number of settlement agreements was Stoke-on-Trent, who agreed 371 settlements between 2016-2017 and 2018-2019.

  • In 2018-2019 the UK wide average settlement value was £99,044, with an average number of six settlements per local authority.

  • The region with the highest number of settlements in 2018-2019, with 381 agreed, was the South East.

  • The region with the highest value of payments in 2018-2019 was London, with a total value of £5,819,520.
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