North Ayrshire Council has paid out £400,000 in settlement deals to employees over the last six years.

Former council staff signed confidentiality clauses, which stops them from revealing any details of their deals or situation. 

The £400,000 of payouts amounts to an average of £18,000 per worker, but it is unknown how much any individual received in a settlement.

The figure emerged at the meeting of North Ayrshire Council last week after councillor Scott Gallacher asked for information about non-disclosure agreements. 

Joe Cullinane, Leader of North Ayrshire Council said: “The total number of settlement agreements, excluding equal pay claims, entered into since March 21, 2013 is 22.

“Confidentiality clauses are a normal part of settlement agreements and prohibit both the employer and the employee from disclosing the terms of the agreement. These protect the reputation of the employee and the employer.

“However they cannot stop either the employee or employer from reporting a criminal offence to the police.

“Any employee entering into a settlement agreement with the council receives independent specialist employment advice to ensure that they fully understand the terms of the agreement.”

North Ayrshire Council only held information for the previous six years in line with data retention rules.