MATT Hancock could be eligible for £16,000 in severance pay after quitting in disgrace over his fling with Gina Coladangelo.
The Health Secretary, 42, resigned amid mounting pressure over images of him kissing and cuddling the aide in breach of Covid restrictions.
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And despite admitting he had "let down" millions who had made painful sacrifices during the pandemic he is, in theory, eligible for thousands of pounds.
However, the Mirror reports it is not yet known whether Mr Hancock has any intention or not to take advantage of the potential payment.
Any decisions to take severance pay outs are published in annual parliamentary accounts – so the actual answer may not be known until next summer.
Ministers under 65 who leave office – whether they are sacked or resign – are entitled to a quarter of their yearly salary under the 1991 Ministerial and other Pensions and Salaries Act.
It comes as…
- Hancock announced he was resigning almost 48 hours after his affair with his aide was exposed
- The Health Secretary told his wife he was leaving her as the affair was revealed
- Gina Coladangelo has left her position on the Department of Health board after the affair with Hancock
- Read Matt Hancock's resignation letter in full
- Boris Johnson told Hancock 'you should be proud of what you've achieved' as he accepted his resignation
- Sajid Javid will be the new Health Secretary
The salary for a Secretary of State is £67,505 which would in theory mean a possible payout of £16,876.
Hancock finally fell on his sword on Saturday night penning a resignation letter to the Prime Minister.
Support for him had been dwindling after it emerged he told his wife he was leaving her shortly after he learned his affair with married Coladangelo was about to be exposed.
Martha Hancock had no idea her husband was having an affair until he broke the news and announced their marriage was over, reports the Times.
Friends of the former Health Secretary say his relationship with Gina is "recent but serious".
Observers were quick to point out that he did not specifically mention his wife in his resignation letter to the Prime Minister.
He wrote: "I am writing to resign as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. We have worked so hard as a country to fight the pandemic.
How does ministerial severance pay work?
Ministers under 65 years old who leave office – whether they are sacked or resign – are entitled to a quarter of their yearly salary under the 1991 Ministerial and other Pensions and Salaries Act.
The salary for a Secretary of State is £67,505 according to latest figures, which would in theory lead to a payout of £16,876.
Ministers’ decisions to take severance pay are only published in annual accounts, so unless he makes a statement the answer may only become clear in summer 2022.
However, things normally work different in the business world.
Severance pay is a form of compensation paid to an employee on the early and unwilling termination of their contract.
It applies when an employee is dismissed through no fault of their own. This can be due to restructuring in the company or when a position is felt to no longer be required for operations to run.
The amount an employee receives usually depends on the length of their employment and on the policies detailed in a company’s employee handbook.
Generally speaking though, a severance payment usually includes payment in lieu of notice, accrued holidays, pension payments, and additional bonuses or discretionary amounts where appropriate.
Although severance pay isn’t a legal requirement in the UK, companies that offer it gain a competitive advantage and attract and retain more talent.
"The last thing I would want is for my private life to distract attention from the single-minded focus that is leading us out of this crisis.
"I want to reiterate my apology for breaking the guidance, and apologise to my family and loved ones for putting them through this. I also need to be with my children at this time.
"We owe it to people who have sacrificed so much in this pandemic to be honest when we have let them down as I have done by breaching the guidance."
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was "sorry" to receive Hancock's resignation.
He said Hancock "should leave office very proud of what you have achieved – not just in tackling the pandemic, but even before Covid-19 struck us".
He added: "I am grateful for your support and believe that your contribution to public service is far from over."
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