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Wrong process used in finance chief's suspension

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Derby City Council has had to restart an investigation into its suspended strategic director for resources, conceding after six weeks that it used the wrong procedure.

Roger Kershaw, a former Society of County Treasurers’ president, was suspended in July over a troubled job evaluation scheme. Karen Jewell, director of human resources and business support, was also suspended.

The Association of Local Authority Chief Executives, acting for Mr Kershaw, said Derby moved straight to appoint a ‘designated independent person’ to investigate him, without first holding the preliminary inquiry into the necessity for this step as required by regulations that govern suspensions of a head of paid service, monitoring officer or chief financial officer.

Derby is now understood to have halted the first investigation and restarted the process by instigating a preliminary inquiry.

Alace consultant Richard Penn said: “I can confirm Roger Kershaw is now subject to a preliminary investigation and will use this to demonstrate that he was not directly responsible for the problems of the job evaluation project.”

The council declined to comment.

Derby’s job evaluation scheme had been intended to equalise pay for male and female staff.

But Unison said last month that so many anomalies arose that some 1,100 appeals were imminent against grading, some from staff who complained the council had not provided them with sufficient information to make their case.

Derby is now to pay Hay Group £1.2m to compete the process and “ensure a consistent approach across the council and include our employees in schools”, chief executive Adam Wilkinson (pictured) told a local briefing.

He said the review would cover 1,235 employees across 640 roles, and any existing appeals would be suspended pending its outcome.

 

 

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