Jane Duncan retires eight months after suspension amid bullying allegations
Early exit for NLH chief exec
The chief executive of a Lincolnshire housing association has taken early retirement, eight months after she was suspended amid allegations of bullying and harassment.
Jane Duncan had been suspended on full pay from her £100,000 a year post at North Lincolnshire Homes since June 2009 after complaints from employees, but walked away from the role last week without answering questions about the allegations.
A statement from Tony Lightfoot, chair of the NLH board, said: ‘I can confirm Jane Duncan has taken early retirement from her post as chief executive of North Lincolnshire Homes with immediate effect. The board will now begin the process of seeking to appoint to the post of chief executive.
‘I believe that North Lincolnshire Homes has a positive future ahead with a committed workforce who will continue to deliver improved services for tenants and leaseholders.’
Linda Muir, regional organiser for trade union Unison, said seven members of staff had filed formal complaints of bullying against Ms Duncan. Some were current employees of the organisation, while others were former members of staff who had come forward after the investigation had started.
However, Ms Duncan went on sick leave shortly after her suspension, and was never available to answer questions from independent investigators about the claims. These date back as far as 2006, when the organisation was set up as a stock transfer from North Lincolnshire Council.
Ms Muir said the NLH staff were ‘devastated’ after the chair had contacted them about Ms Duncan’s retirement. She said: ‘It has left them feeling very bitter.’
Ms Muir added that although this marked the end of the internal investigation, at least one of the staff members who had complained was considering taking their grievances to a tribunal.
Neither Ms Duncan nor her legal team were available for comment.