Housing staff at Grenfell council get over £130,000 in bonuses

Council defends performance related pay-outs, stressing no-one was rewarded for their role in responding to the disaster.

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Bonuses totaling over £130,000 were paid to housing staff at Kensington & Chelsea Council in the wake of the Grenfell disaster, FoI reveals.

The council defends the bonuses as based on “individual performance”  with no-one getting a bonus specifically for their role in response to the disaster

Over the same period, council bosses received more than £90,000.

The council says the scheme is under review, Grenfell survivors brand the bonuses “abhorrent”.

Figures obtained by the BBC via FoI showed that in May or June 2018, 52 council staff working in housing received £131,804 in bonuses, an average of £2,534 per employee.

Both the amount spent on bonuses and the number of staff working on housing at the council increased in 2017/18.

In 2016/17, 43 housing staff received £103,298 in bonuses between them – an average payment of £2,402.

Twelve employees in ‘leadership roles’  at the council received a total of £93,174 in bonuses in May or June of 2018 – an average payment of £7,765 per employee.

The amount spent on annual bonuses for leaders in the council has remained broadly stable since 2014/15, the earliest year for which data was provided, with the figure fluctuating between £92,418 and £99,463.

Campaign group Justice for Grenfell described the payments- particularly those to housing staff –  as ”abhorrent” in demonstrating how “desensitised” the council remains toward Grenfell.

Kensington & Chelsea MP Emma Dent Coad said she was “disgusted” by the payments.

“Given the abject misery many Grenfell affected families have been left in, I find it extraordinary that senior staff have been offered bonuses.

“They have said that they want to get back to ‘business as usual’. Handing out bonuses within a failing service proves they’ve achieved just that – I am genuinely shocked,” she said.

In a statement, the council said: “Our permanent staff are eligible for performance-related pay, based on individual performance, as set out in their legal contract of employment with us.

“This is rigorously assessed every year and the overall scheme is currently subject to a full review.”

The statement added that the bonuses relating to pay for staff working in housing cover the whole department – and that includes home building, buying properties, and rehousing people.

None of the eligible staff returned their bonuses in light of the tragedy, the council confirmed.

 

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