More than 600 Scarborough Council staff have left jobs since 2018, figures reveal

More than 600 Scarborough Council staff members have left their jobs since 2018 due to resignations, redundancies, and dismissal.

The chart shows departures from Scarborough Council since 2018.
The chart shows departures from Scarborough Council since 2018.

Between 2018 and July 2022, more than 230 people resigned from their jobs at Scarborough Council, 262 employees’ fixed-term contracts ended, and 28 staff members were dismissed, with 613 departures overall.

The information was revealed through a Freedom of Information (FoI) request submitted by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Speaking at a meeting of the council’s audit committee in July, council director Lisa Dixon said that second on the list of 10 top risks currently facing the council is a failure to “recruit and retain staff”.

Most of the departures were due to fixed-term contracts ending, while resignations and retirement accounted for the second and third most departures, respectively.

Of the 11 people made redundant by the council since 2018, 10 were part of the lowest pay scale while one was from an assistant managerial scale.

Overall, a large portion of the departures affected staff on the lower and medium pay scales, whereas the data suggests that only five departures came from the top three scales of managerial, director, and chief executive.

However, it does not take into account the current chief executive, Michael Greene’s planned departure for a new role at Stockton-on-Tees Council.

Meanwhile, almost every year since 2018 one staff member has died while in service, with four deaths overall since 2018, while seven staff members have also departed due to ill health.

The FoI request also reveals that £101,990 was spent by the council on these staff departures.

The information request asked that the council divulges the reason for the payments, such as settlement of tribunal cases or compensation for dismissal, but this was not provided.

In 2018 the council spent or paid out £4,064 on staff departures, in 2019 the sum was £57,200, and in 2021 it was £40,600

However, the council did not sign any non-disclosure agreements with staff between 2018 and July 2022, according to the data provided.

At a meeting of Scarborough Council’s Audit Committee on July 21, council director Lisa Dixon said that though “failure to have effective business continuity in terms of staff resilience” was the biggest risk currently facing the authority, it was not an issue that was “unique to this particular council”.

Ms Dixon added that next year’s local government reorganisation (LGR), which will see borough councils replaced by a new North Yorkshire Council, has also affected the council’s recruitment and staff retention, although staff have been assured they can continue working for the new authority with their existing terms and conditions.