Please could you disclose the number of staff exits which have included the use of gagging orders otherwise technically known as compromise or settlement agreements during the last five years.
Please could you provide a breakdown of the numbers and costs of such agreements per year. If possible please could you indicate how many agreements in each year involved a member of staff exiting the organisation after a complaint of sexual harassment or sexual assault or had such a complaint made against them.
The table below lists the number of occasions that the Council and an employee together agreed to enter into a settlement, for the years 2013 to 2017.
If possible please could you indicate how many agreements in each year involved a member of staff exiting the organisation after a complaint of sexual harassment or sexual assault or had such a complaint made against them
It is not possible to indicate how many of these agreements relate to a complaint of sexual harassment or sexual assault as this would require a manual review of each individual case which would take more than 18 hours and is therefore exempt under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 Section 12 – Cost of Compliance.
However, please note that the County Council does not use settlement agreements or any other order for the purpose of covering up or hiding bad practice. With regards to complaints of sexual harassment or assault, our policy is one that encourages people to disclose such information without prejudice or fear.
Also, please note that, settlement agreements do not prevent a member of staff from whistleblowing, disclosing information to a regulator, reporting a criminal offence to the police or other disclosure as required by law.