Fewer sackings at SBC

The number of Scottish Borders Council staff fired for breaches of discipline fell markedly in 2014, writes Andrew Keddie.

A Freedom of Information response has revealed that four employees were dismissed last year – compared to 15 in 2013, eight in 2012, 10 in 2011 and four in 2010.

Last year’s sackings related to misuse of a council vehicle, the accessing of records without authorisation, theft of food from a council kitchen and failure to register with the Scottish Social Services Council.

The bumper year of 2013 saw 15 employees dismissed for a variety of reasons.

It included drink-driving, physical assault, breach of financial regulations, theft of prescription drugs from a social work service user’s home, failure to turn up for a client visit which left the vulnerable client at risk, breach of recruitment policy, unauthorised absence and attending work under the influence of alcohol.

In 2012, “persistent poor timekeeping” led to two of the eight sackings.

Most of the 98 members of staff formally disciplined over the past five years received written or final written warnings, including a member of staff last year who was moved to another post for sending an “indecent, abusive and racist text”.