13 November 2012

Covered both ways

Much fuss about the payoff to the BBC Director General amounting to double the amount specified in his contract.  The Guardian reports:

In a letter to the Commons culture select committee chairman, John Whittingdale, Patten said the payout was "justified and necessary." 
He wrote: "The alternative was long drawn-out discussions and continuing uncertainty at a time when the BBC needs all of its focus to be on resolving fundamental issues of trust in BBC journalism."
He accepted that Entwistle's contract entitled him to only six months' payout if he resigned, but that he had been paid the equivalent of 12 months' salary.

Lots of argument about whether this was justified or not.  Me, I can't get past the earlier stage of wondering what kind of employment contract awards a payoff in return for resignation?  I can understand why a payoff might be necessary where an organisation decided to let someone go.  But I had always understood that if someone chose to resign, then he or she was on his own.

When I resigned from the civil service after 32+ years, I neither expected nor received any kind of payoff.  But maybe employment contracts have changed since then ...

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