MD1639 Contracts of Mayoral Appointments (MAs)

Type of decision: 
Mayoral decision
Code: 
MD1639
Date signed: 
31 March 2016
Decision by: 
Boris Johnson MP (past staff), Mayor of London

Executive summary

Section 67 of the Greater London Authority Act 1999 (as amended) (“the GLA Act”) stipulates that the Mayor can appoint up to 12 members of staff (“Mayoral Appointees”), including no more than two political advisers. Section 67(4) of the GLA Act states that none of these appointments can last beyond the end of the Mayoral term. The Mayoral Appointees are therefore appointed to roles on fixed term contracts that terminate by operation of law at the end of the Mayoral term.  This report deals with the ending of the fixed term contracts and the proposed compensation payments to be made to the Mayoral Appointees.

Decision

The Mayor is asked to:

1.    Note that the employment contracts of the Mayoral Appointees will terminate by operation of law at the end of the Mayor’s term of office.  

2.    Agree that, before the end of the Mayor’s term of office, the Authority enters into a Settlement Agreement with each of the Mayoral Appointees, under which the Authority agrees to pay each of the Mayoral Appointees a termination payment in full and final settlement of all claims they may have arising from their employment and/or its termination. 

3.    Authorise the Head of Paid Service to exercise delegated authority to negotiate other terms and conditions of the Settlement Agreements and, after consulting with the Authority’s other statutory officers, to enter into those Settlement Agreements for and on behalf of the Authority. 
 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    Section 67 of the GLA Act stipulates that the Mayor can appoint up to 12 Mayoral Appointees, including no more than two political advisers.  Section 67(4) of the GLA Act states that none of these appointments can continue beyond the end of the Mayoral term.  The Mayoral Appointees are therefore appointed to roles on fixed term contracts that will terminate by operation of law at the end of the Mayoral term.  The end of the Mayoral term is specifically defined as the second day after the day on which the last of the successful candidates at the election is declared to be returned.  At the end of the present Mayoral term, there will be eight Mayoral Appointees in post, including one political adviser (appointed under section 67(1) (a) of the GLA Act) and seven other staff (appointed under section 67 (1)(b) of the GLA Act). The Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime is employed by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (“MOPAC”) rather than the GLA. His appointment ends by operation of law at the end of the mayoral term.  MOPAC will mirror the process applied by the GLA set out below.

Other considerations

a)    Links to strategies and Mayoral and corporate priorities

As section 67(4) of the GLA Act states that none of the appointments can continue beyond the end of the Mayoral term, the Mayoral Appointees are all appointed to roles on fixed term contracts that terminate by operation of law at the end of the Mayoral term.  

The termination of the fixed-term contracts of the Mayoral Appointees is still a dismissal in law, requiring the Authority to have a fair reason for the non-renewal of the fixed-term contracts. Furthermore, the Authority would need to follow a fair process in bringing those fixed-term contracts to an end. As the fixed-term contracts come to an end by operation of law under the GLA Act, there is no redundancy situation.  

In order to minimise the risk of the Mayoral Appointees bringing unfair dismissal claims either because there is no fair reason for the non-renewal of the fixed-term contracts (given that the Mayoral Appointee position will still exist post-election), or because the Authority has failed to follow a fair process in bringing the fixed-term contracts to an end and not considered suitable alternative employment, the Authority proposes to make payments to them in return for them entering into Settlement Agreements. The legal justification for making a payment in these circumstances is to remove the risk of an unfair dismissal claim.  The payments will not therefore exceed the current statutory cap for unfair dismissal of £78,962 and will represent value for money.  The payments would be made in full and final settlement of all potential legal claims that the Mayoral Appointees may have arising from their employment and/or its termination. The proposed payments take account of the actual length of service of the Mayoral Appointees, their current salaries and any potential Employment Tribunal claims that they may have.

The termination payment would be paid within one month of the end of the current Mayoral term but would be repayable in full if a Mayoral Appointee was re-appointed by the new Mayor to a post under section 67(1) of the GLA Act or took up any other employment post in the GLA Group within 12 months of the end of the Mayoral term. The termination payment may also have to be repaid if the proposed Government legislation on the recovery of exit payments is implemented over the next few months conditional always on the transitional arrangements that may be put in place (this legislation stipulates that those employees earning over £80,000 who receive a termination payment on exiting a public sector organisation then return to the public sector within a year will be required to repay some or all of their termination payment).  Mayoral Appointees who return to the Authority for a period of less than three months to undertake a handover with the new administration will not be required to repay their termination payments.  

The Mayor is asked to authorise the Head of Paid Service to exercise delegated authority to negotiate other terms and conditions of the Settlement Agreements and, after consulting with the Authority’s other statutory officers, to enter into those Settlement Agreements for and on behalf of the Authority. 

b)    Impact assessments and Consultation

Consultation is being undertaken directly with the Mayoral Appointees in order to confirm the termination of their fixed term contracts.     

c)    Risk

The risk of potential legal claims has been outlined above.

Financial comments

The proposed payments would be met by drawing on the GLA Development Reserve which exists to fund pay settlements and reviews for all relevant staff and Members. All budget adjustments would be made.

Investment and Performance Board

Comments are not required from the Investment and Performance Board as this relates to employment issues.