Belfast Telegraph

BBC bill for job cuts hits £3m since 2010

By Adrian Rutherford

BBC NI paid out more than £3m in redundancy settlements over the last three years.

The payments related to 66 full-time posts – an average settlement of £50,000 each.

The figures were released after a Freedom of Information request.

BBC NI refused to say how many of its senior managers received redundancy payments.

But it did confirm that £3,306,866 had been paid out in redundancy settlements from April 2010 until July this year.

This related to 65 full-time posts, the broadcaster said.

In 2012/13 alone, £2,234,710 was paid out in relation to 37 full-time posts. And between April and July this year, £247,738 was paid out for five posts.

In its FoI reply, the BBC said staff reductions were achieved by voluntary redundancy.

"These are equivalent to continuing savings of £9m per year," it said. "Post closures have taken place across the organisation and at different staffing grades.

"The payments were made to staff as part of their contractual redundancy entitlements. Many of those affected will have had long service with the organisation."

The BBC was asked to list the five highest payments, but declined, adding: "We can, however, confirm that no individual received more than their basic pay multiplied by the number of years of completed employment (with an upper limit not exceeding 24 months). All payments were consistent with staff members' contractual entitlements."

This year, the National Audit Office reported that, nationally, 228 senior bosses left the BBC in the three years to December 2012, 150 of whom received severance payments worth a total £25m.

Among those awarded big pay-offs was the former boss of BBC NI, Pat Loughrey. His £866,000 package was reported to have included £300,000 pay in lieu of notice, even though he worked his notice and was paid for it.

He said then severance payments were "made in fulfilment of long standing entitlements" and "approved at the highest level".

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