Total Annual Figures for Compromise Agreements, etc.

Paul Cardin made this Freedom of Information request to North Lincolnshire Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear North Lincolnshire Council,

Please supply Annual totals for the following:

As far as records go back, the annual figures for the total
of current employees / ex-employees (including teaching staff) of the Council who have signed compromise agreements directly related to the resolving of dispute(s) / grievance(s) / internal and external investigation(s) / whistleblowing incident(s).

In addition to this, annual figures for the number of current employees / ex-employees (including teaching staff) who have agreed, following the matter being raised and made conditional as part of a compromise agreement drawn up by the body acting as the Council's legal team, to sign and forgo their right to approach the council in the future with Freedom of Information and/or DPA Subject Access requests under the relevant Acts.

Please provide the figures in the following format e.g. 2006 - 2; 2007 - 4; 2008 - 0; 2010 - 6; etc.

Please note that I do not seek or require any personal information such as names and addresses – only the total figures for each subject area.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Cardin

North Lincolnshire Council

Dear Sir/Madam,

I write to confirm receipt of your request for information under section 1(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, which was received on the date shown below and is now being processed. Your request has been given the unique reference number as stated above and you should quote this reference number in all correspondence.

The twenty working day time limit for responding to your request has been activated from the day after the date your request was received. If we are unable to deal with your request within that time limit, you will be contacted to explain the reasons for the delay.

As part of our duty to advise and assist you with your request, should you have any further problems or queries, please use the below address or contact numbers, stating your name, address and reference number;

Local Link Office
Church Square House,
30-40 High Street,
Scunthorpe,
North Lincolnshire,
DN15 6NL

Telephone: 01724 296820
E-Mail: [email address]

Dear North Lincolnshire Council,

By law, I believe the authority should have responded promptly and
by 1st February 2011.

Although I have received no response, to assist, I would like to
'sharpen' and reduce the scope of the original request as follows:

Please exclude all COT3 Agreements and all compromise agreements
drawn up in the following circumstances:

1. Purely redundancy situations
2. Purely PILON (pay in lieu of notice) situations
3. Equal pay claims
4. TUPE situations

Further to this, please reduce the time period to the years between
2005 and 2010 i.e. the last six years.

I am researching this particular area and aim to view trends and
movements both regionally and nationally. It would benefit myself
and the authority if the figures reached were as accurate as
possible.

When responding, please give figures in calendar year format e.g.
2005 - 1; 2006 - 3; 2007 - 2; etc.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Cardin

Sam Bilton, North Lincolnshire Council

Freedom of Information Request

URN: 556403

Date Received: 6 January 2011

Thank you for your request, in which you asked for information on
compromise agreements.

There have been no instances of current/ex employees signing compromise
agreements directly related to the resolving of
disputes/grievances/internal and external investigations/whistleblowing
incidents.

Please note that the supply of documents under Freedom of Information does
not give the person or organisation who receives them an automatic right
to re-use the documents in a way that would infringe copyright, for
example, by making multiple copies, publishing or issuing copies to the
public.

If you wish to re-use the information supplied you must apply to the
Council for a licence. The terms of this licence may be found at
[1]http://www.northlincs.gov.uk/NorthLincs/... on
the internet. An application for a licence must be made in writing (which
includes email) and provide the following information:

o your name and address
o a statement of which documents you wish to re-use
o the purpose for which the document(s) will be re-used

If you have any complaints in respect of your information request, please
let me know and I will refer the matter to the council's complaints
procedure. Alternatively, you can email [2][email address] . If
your complaint is not resolved to your complete satisfaction, you have the
right to apply to the Information Commissioner for a decision.

Should you have any queries regarding the information provided, please do
not hesitate to contact me.

Sam Bilton
Deputy Freedom of Information Coordinator
Human Resources
North Lincolnshire Council

This e-mail expresses the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the
view of the Council. Please be aware that anything included in an e-mail
may have to be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act and cannot
be regarded as confidential. This communication is intended for the
addressee(s) only. Please notify the sender if received in error. All
Email is monitored and recorded.
Please think before you print- North Lincolnshire Council greening the
workplace.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.northlincs.gov.uk/NorthLincs/...
2. mailto:[email address]

foi, North Lincolnshire Council

Freedom of Information
Request Acknowledgement

Dear Sir/Madam,

I write to confirm receipt of your request for information under section 1
(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, which was received on the date
shown below and is now being processed. Your request has been given the
unique reference number as stated below and you should quote this reference
number in all correspondence.

The twenty working day time limit for responding to your request has been
activated from the day after the date your request was received. If we are
unable to deal with your request within that time limit, you will be
contacted to explain the reasons for the delay.

As part of our duty to advise and assist you with your request, should you
have further problems or queries, please use the below address or contact
numbers, stating your name, address and reference number;

Local Link Office
Church Square House,
30-40 High Street,
Scunthorpe
North Lincolnshire,
DN15 6NL

Telephone: 01724 296820
E-Mail: [email address]

Customer Name: Mr Paul Cardin
Address: WhatDoTheyKnow PO Box 839 Oxford OX1 9LG

Reference Number (URN): 568670
Date Received: 03/02/2011

Details of Enquiry;
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST Dear North Lincolnshire Council,

By law, I believe the authority should have responded promptly and
by 1st February 2011.
Although I have received no response, to assist, I would like
to'sharpen' and reduce the scope of the original request as follows:
Please exclude all COT3 Agreements and all compromise agreements
drawn up in the following circumstances:
1. Purely redundancy situation
2. Purely PILON (pay in lieu of notice) situations
3. Equal pay claims
4. TUPE situations

Further to this, please reduce the time period to the years between
2005 and 2010 i.e. the last six years.

I am researching this particular area and aim to view trends and
movements both regionally and nationally. It would benefit myself
and the authority if the figures reached were as accurate as
possible.

When responding, please give figures in calendar year format e.g.
2005 - 1; 2006 - 3; 2007 - 2; etc.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Cardin

Will forward this foi direct to champion

This e-mail expresses the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the view of the Council. Please be aware that anything included in an e-mail may have to be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act and cannot be regarded as confidential. This communication is intended for the addressee(s) only. Please notify the sender if received in error. All Email is monitored and recorded.
Please think before you print- North Lincolnshire Council greening the workplace.

Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

North Lincolnshire Council were one of the slower respondents of the 345 councils asked, taking 22 working days (over the statutory period) to respond positively and in full.

Please link here to read about the further aspects of this request:

www.easyvirtualassistance.co.uk/page4.html

...including councils who have attempted to prevent individuals from exercising their statutory FOI / DP querying rights.

There is a growing trend for the use of compromise agreements, not just in the area of disputes or whistleblowing, but also in general redundancy or equal pay claims. Some councils have yet to answer this query - and to date, 65 working days have elapsed

Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Here’s a piece of legal opinion from Senior Counsel Hugh Tomlinson QC, which appears to make more likely the prospect of public sector employers opting for Freedom of Information and Data Protection “gagging clauses” within compromise agreements; and thereby aiming to remove persons’ statutory rights to make data and information requests.

It has been an effective reputation management tactic, and a way of concealing the historical malpractice engaged in by employers when targetting whistleblowers or getting rid of people who’ve lodged grievances. The ruse has been deployed in the past by two councils; Cheshire West & Chester, and Brent.

The ICO are powerless to prevent it as the HT opinion implies that contract law takes precedence over a person’s statutory rights – which it appears can be surrendered. The ICO could only act if the recipient of any “ban” were to breach it and make an FoI or DP request of the relevant data controller – which is unlikely to occur because there’s always a “club over the head” of the signatory to the compromise agreement i.e. the threat of any monetary pay off being clawed back through the courts.

http://tinyurl.com/bu9vynx