Under-fire Islington HR chief to leave council by mutual consent

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Islington Council’s under-fire HR director Maria King is to leave the local authority at the end of this month.

King has been suspended from work on full pay since mid-December following an independent investigation into several allegations of bullying and harassment against her – understood to have been filed by senior members of her HR team.

A council spokesman confirmed that King was leaving by mutual consent, but refused to say whether she would receive a pay-off.

Council insiders have expressed their anger at the move, with one claiming staff were “pissed off and demotivated” and accused council bosses of a whitewashing over King’s “terrible behaviour”.

Several senior HR professionals have quit the council in recent months, said to be frustrated with King’s alleged behaviour and at the delays in concluding the official investigation.

A disciplinary hearing was set for earlier this month, which also examined whether the correct procedures were followed when appointing external consultants for lucrative HR contracts.

The council spokesman confirmed that no disciplinary action would be taken against King, saying: “Since taking up her role in 2002, Ms King has transformed the quality and standard of HR and organisational development at Islington Council. She leaves by mutual consent.

“A thorough investigation was carried out after allegations were made about the council’s director of HR. In light of Ms King’s departure from the service, no further action will be taken.”

In an e-mail seen by Personnel Today, Louise Round, Islington’s corporate director of resources, thanked staff “for the professional way you have all conducted yourselves over the last few months”.

She also confirmed that interim HR director Richard Mycroft would stay at the council while a permanent replacement was recruited.

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