Sadiq Khan brings in crackdown on TfL after £100m payouts to axed chiefs

Ross Lydall

Sadiq Khan today announced limits to the size of “golden goodbyes” after Transport for London paid departing executives more than £100 million in two years.

The Mayor agreed a crackdown after the Evening Standard used freedom of information laws to obtain a review into pay-offs that City Hall had been keeping under wraps for months.

Staff recruited to managing director posts at TfL will see the current notice period halved from a year to six months, while other new directors will be limited to three months’ notice.

The changes follow payments totalling £102.4 million to 1,552 TfL staff who lost their jobs as part of a two-year reorganisation.

TfL executives who received “compensation for loss of office” included former buses boss Leon Daniels, who received £444,598, and streets chief Garrett Emmerson, who received £245,579.

A report from independent consultant Dawn Jarvis, commissioned last May by the Mayor when TfL’s annual accounts sparked concerns about the size of some exit packages, said three months’ notice should be standard “in all cases”.

She said the Mayor’s office should review all staff earning £100,000 or more and called for a clearer definition of “what constitutes senior staff” and how bonuses and pay-offs were decided.

But she said that all parts of the Mayor’s empire had “satisfactory and appropriate policies”. She noted that the Met police and London fire brigade were tied to national pay agreements for most of their staff.

Today’s recommendations will not apply to Crossrail, despite its former chief executive Andrew Wolstenholme having quit with £97,734 compensation for loss of office prior to the crisis that has delayed its opening having emerged.

Nor will they lead to any changes in notice periods for serving executives as the Mayor does not have power to unilaterally change their contracts.

Mr Khan said: “It is vital that organisations across the Greater London Authority continue to attract the very best skills and talent. However, at the same time, pay agreements for senior staff must be transparent and offer value for money for the London taxpayer.

“In reviewing the long notice periods agreed for future senior appointments and ensuring more formal scrutiny is in place, I want the GLA to follow best practice and guard against unjustified pay-outs that could risk undermining trust in our organisations.”

Ms Jarvis said: “It is important to check that the public sector is using the money they are custodians of to get the best possible value.

“This was generally the case across the GLA group.”