Bullying and harassment claims raised against Islington Council HR chief

Exclusive: Islington Council’s HR chief is under investigation after several allegations of bullying and harassment were lodged against her, Personnel Today has learned.

An external investigator has been brought in by council bosses to scrutinise the serious allegations made against HR director Maria King.

It is understood that she has been moved to a different office while the investigation is carried out.

The grievances – thought to include bullying, harassment and discrimination – are understood to have been filed by several senior members of the HR team.

One employee is also thought to have resigned because of the situation. King refused to comment.

Council sources told Personnel Today that the investigation has also widened to examine potential financial irregularities, including contracts covering hundreds of thousands of pounds for HR consultancy work. The external investigator’s report is due to be presented to council chiefs within days.

Vaughan West, branch secretary at Islington Council for the GMB union, confirmed that a number of formal complaints against King had been submitted. “The rumour-mill is saying that she is quite demanding and that her manner can be perceived differently by some people.”

King has worked for Islington Council for a number of years, replacing a series of interim HR directors. West said relations between the local authority and the union had improved since she had joined.

In a statement, a council spokesman said: “We won’t comment on allegations about confidential staff matters. Speaking generally, Islington Council takes staff complaints seriously and will investigate them thoroughly.”

Islington Council is currently at the centre of a storm after threatening to sack Christian marriage registrar Lillian Ladele for refusing to carry out civil partnerships. The case is at the Court of Appeal awaiting a decision.

Comments are closed.