£80,000 paid out to staff to stay at home

Adam Smith College

Adam Smith College

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ADAM Smith College paid out around £80,000 in salary to senior staff while they were suspended or on gardening leave, we can reveal.

The figure was divulged for the first time as part of a Freedom of Information (FoI) request lodged by the Press.

The money was paid between February 2012 and May 2013 - the most turbulent time in the college’s history.

Claims a culture of bullying existed on campus sparked an inquiry into the running of the college, during which time a number of senior figures took gardening leave - or ‘special paid leave.’

They left in February 2012, and, as of May 30 this year, one remained on special paid leave from March 2012.

No names were given, and the college withheld the exact figure paid out in salary to staff absent from their desks - it said disclosure would breach their personal data.

But recognising ‘‘the legitimate interest in disclosure’’ it confirmed the amount paid on salary to staff on special paid leave was between £75,00 and £80,000.

In total, five managers/senior executives were suspended from duties at any one time between January 2012 and last month - and as of May 20 this year, three remained suspended.

The time away from their desks was also revealed.

Two were absent on full pay for 183 days, one for 169 days, one for 124 days ... and one for 321 days.

Kirkcaldy MSP David Torrance said he was extremely disappointed in the ongoing situation saying it should have been resolved quickly.

“This is just a waste of taxpayers money,” he said.

“To put these people on gardening leave indefinitely is not acceptable.

“At the end of the day this is public money that’s being spent and someone has to be held accountable.”

Mr Torrance said the situation should be a priority for the new board when the merger goes ahead on August 1 and Adam Smith and Carnegie along with land based courses atElmwood become Fife College.

He said: “This needs to be dealt with as a matter of urgency and I’m confident that the new board will address the matter quickly.”