A report by chief executive Phillip McGreevy to this week's full council meeting reveals that an application for early reitrement fell outside the council's policy but was approved in error.
Officials are allowed to retire early in the interests of efficiency if the costs are recoverable in three years. But an employee of the library service applied to retire on 30 June and attached to the application were details of the costs of the retirement indicating recovery costs by the third financial year.
But that was based on the post being scrapped - when, in fact, the post was being retained at a lower grade. Due to a misunderstanding a member of the personnel department issued a letter of termination in error. Four days later it was discovered that in addition to the documentation being incomplete, the financial information it contained was incorrect.
While the employee would not be able specifically to enforce the early retirement, he or she may sue for damages for breach of contract or unfair/constructive dismissal.
Mr McGreevy said that the council should review all the information and consider making a 'commercial decision', bearing in mind that the employee could lose a claim for damages or damages could be limited.