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NORTH TYNESIDE SEEKS RETURN OF REDUNDANCY CASH THROUGH COURTS

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Twenty nine former employees of North Tyneside council who received redundancy payments nearly three years ago unde...
Twenty nine former employees of North Tyneside council who received redundancy payments nearly three years ago under an enhanced severance scheme, since ruled unlawful, are being taken to court by their former employer, the Financial Times reports (p8).

The paper says the 29 are among 368 former employees who have been instructed by the council to repay a total of £1.5 million they received above the statutory minimum entitlement.

Letters sent by the council in July to the 368 - who received enhancements ranging from £400 to £18,000 - demanding repayment have elicited only two offers of reimbursement. The council confirmed yesterday that it has selected 29 test cases and summonses will be sent out later this month.

The proceedings will be heard in the County court, but some cases may go higher as the some of those refusing payment have union backing.

The paper says the council's severance scheme was introduced in September 1990 before being challenged by the district auditor. A High Court ruling that the scheme was unlawful was upheld by the Appeal Court last year.

Out of the 368 who took redundancy 26 signed letters agreeing to reimburse additional payments totalling £141,000 should the legal challenge be upheld.

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