COUNCIL staff suspended on full pay have missed 380 days of work, costing the tax payer over £55,000, a recent report has revealed.
Five Solihull Council employees have spent an average of 76 days on suspension since April 2009 according to a Freedom of Information Act by The Taxpayers’ Alliance who have criticised the long period of suspension for staff.
Research manager John O’Connell said: “The fact remains that these are very long suspensions and need to be resolved much more quickly.
“I’d like to think that Solihull would improve what ever processes they have to speed it up. It’s fairer to the tax payer and to the staff members involved and is far more productive than them just sitting at home.”
One staff member, on a £19,189 salary, was suspended for 220 days before returning to work in 2010 while one senior officer on £78,612 a year, was suspended for 75 days before leaving the council.
A council spokesperson said examples of where suspension is appropriate is in allegations of fraud, discrimination and abuse of a service user and claimed that lengthy suspensions were only given in “exceptional circumstances.”
They added that the cause for the five staff suspensions was “disciplinary”.
“Most disciplinary issues are resolved, with the staff member remaining in work.
“However there may be very rare occasions where suspension of a staff member, without prejudice, is the most appropriate action- this would be where the alleged misconduct is so serious it could result in dismissal.”