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States of Jersey Compromise Agreements

States of Jersey Compromise Agreements

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 24 February 2015.
Prepared internally, no external costs.

​​​​Request

The number of payoffs / compromise agreements to public sector employees per year for the last ten years, 2004 - 2014. This should be broken down into years.

Please can these also be broken down into departments and include total amount paid, the date of the payment and the job title of the person who received the money (where this may be too specific and lead to identification please generalise, including the level at which they were working).

Could you also include a reason for why the person left?

Response

The response can only address agreements from 2009 onwards because it would take more than 12.5 hours to find information from earlier years.

States of Jersey Compromise Agreements
A compromise agreement is a legally binding agreement in which an employee (or ex-employee) agrees not to pursue particular claims in relation to his or her employment or its termination, which is usually accompanied by a financial settlement that is considered to be in full and final settlement of any claims that might have been pursued by either party. Typically a financial settlement will recognise three elements:

  1. payments due in respect of an unexpired notice period as specified in the employee’s contract of employment;
  2. payments due in respect of any other provisions of the contract of employment (e.g. accrued holiday entitlements); and
  3. where appropriate, compensation for loss of office; in such cases, employees have rights under employment law and therefore could be paid to the level of award which an employment tribunal may make if an application were to be made on the grounds of unfair dismissal (such awards are typically limited to amounts equal to six months’ salary).

A compromise agreement is justified if it permits the resolution of a situation that is undermining a department’s performance at a reasonable cost; they are normally mutually beneficial to both parties, employer and employee, and are accompanied by a confidentiality clause. Whilst it is important that we are transparent about the use of public money the duty of transparency must be balanced against the personal rights to privacy of former employees who have signed compromise agreements. Therefore the data has been presented in a way that will not identify former employees as this information is personal information and so is exempt under Article 25 of the Freedom of Information Jersey) Law 2011 (the “FOI Law”), which refers to personal information. The information cannot be disclosed because its disclosure to a member of the public would contravene one or more of the data protection principles, which are set out in Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2005. As a public authority, the States of Jersey must observe all of the data protection principles when processing personal data. The exemption from the duty to disclose personal data, where to do so would breach a data protection principle, is an absolute exemption, therefore the public interest test in Part 2 of the FOI Law does not apply.

However, we are able to provide you with the following table, which identifies the number of compromise agreements/ pay offs that occurred between 2009 and 2014 summarising the amounts paid.

Department2009 and 20102011 and 20122013 and 2014Total
Chief Ministers2204
Department of Environment1001
Economic Development Department0011
Education, sport and culture0112
Health and Social Services2248
Home Affairs1012
Ports of Jersey0505
Treasury and Resources1113
Total number of Compromise Agreements711826
Total amount paid £540,389£1,420,528 £556,978 £2,517,894

Example reasons for compromise agreements are:

  • where an employee leaves following a management reorganisation which dramatically changes their terms of employment.
  • a breakdown of relationships to the extent that a swift resolution is necessary to ensure there is no detrimental effect upon services

The level/ positions held by the former employees were:

  • Civil Service/ Chief Officer roles (ranging from Grade 3 (£22k per annum) to Senior Manager/ Executive roles (£100k plus per annum)).
  • Nursing and Midwifery, Doctors, Teaching roles, Police Officer, etc.

Please see the following document for further information on the States of Jersey guidance framework policy for compromise agreements:​

Download Report Utilisation of Compromise Agreements February 2012 (size 142kb)

Please see the following report from the Comptroller and Auditor General on the Utilisation of Compromise Agreements, March 2012:
Download Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General on Utilisation of Compromise Agreements March 2012 (size 142kb)

Exemptions

25    Personal information

 (1)    Information is absolutely exempt information if it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2005.
 
(2)    Information is absolutely exempt information if:
 (a)     it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is not the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2005; and
 (b)     its supply to a member of the public would contravene any of the data protection principles, as defined in that Law.

16 A scheduled public authority may refuse to supply information if cost excessive

(1) A scheduled public authority that has been requested to supply information may refuse to supply the information if it estimates that the cost of doing so would exceed any fee of an amount determined in the manner prescribed by Regulations for the purposes of Article 15.

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