Information for Staff

Overview

This information has been designed specifically for staff members and includes important information about the dissolution period, and – in the event your MP loses their seat – the winding-up period.

All guidance contained within the General Election section is subject to change.

Guidance

For support during this time, the Employee Assistance Programme, managed by Health Assured, can provide confidential support services for both work and personal matters.

They can be contacted on 0800 030 5182.

An HR service signposting you to various resources is also available at 0800 7569814 or employeesupport@croner.co.uk.

IPSA staffing budgets can be used to support staff training during the winding-up period, where reasonable and aimed at assisting the staff member in their transition to a new role.

Examples of training that would be claimable include courses on general career-related skills, such as CV writing and interview help.

IPSA will not fund courses for staff to retrain for a different role or career, including university modules.

IPSA’s phone lines are open from 10am to 4:30pm on Monday to Friday during the dissolution period, so please call 020 7811 6400 if you have any questions.

You can also email us at info@theipsa.org.uk.

Your salary

You will be paid your salary as normal during the dissolution period (unless you take unpaid leave, for example in order to campaign), on the last working day of the month.

If you are taking unpaid leave, your employer will need to tell IPSA via IPSA Online in advance and by the payroll deadline (the 15th of the month), so that your salary can be adjusted.

Working during the dissolution period

You may continue to do parliamentary work for your employer.

You may not campaign for your MP, the party or any other candidate on paid IPSA time or using IPSA-funded equipment and office.

It is for your MP to judge what work you should do, in line with the House of Commons guidance, but you must be careful not to do anything that could be construed as electoral campaigning during your normal working hours.

Taking part in campaigning activity

You may campaign for your MP (or another candidate) during the dissolution period, but it is important that it is not during paid work time. Instead, you could:

  • Campaign outside your normal working hours (for example, in the evenings and at weekends).

  • Take annual leave.

  • Take unpaid leave.

  • Use any time off in lieu (TOIL) you’ve accrued (for example, if you have done overtime for which you have not been paid).

This is because MPs are not allowed to use any taxpayer-funded resources, including staff time, travel, and office equipment for any party-political or election campaigning. To do so would be an illegal campaign donation under electoral law.

The MP should record any TOIL (for example, in an Excel spreadsheet) or any other leave a staff member takes in the event this is queried by IPSA at a later date.

Offices should keep a record until the end of the winding-up period in the event the MP loses their seat or stands down as IPSA cannot guarantee payment if the information is lost.

Remember that all employment contracts state that TOIL should be used within three months of it being earned.

For information on how to record any other taken by staff, visit Booking annual leave and Recording sickness unpaid leave.

Working from the constituency

If you are normally based in Westminster and need to travel to do parliamentary work in the constituency office during dissolution, you can claim travel and subsistence costs relating to this. You can also claim to stay overnight in the constituency if needed.

Whether travel time is included in your contractual hours worked is at the discretion of your MP.

However, if you did have any queries on this, please don’t hesitate to contact the Members’ HR team.

Homeworking allowance

Staff members on a homeworking contract who claim the homeworking allowance will still be entitled to this payment throughout dissolution, and – if your MP loses their seat at a General Election – the winding-up period.

For more information, visit Homeworking allowance for staff.

MPs have received guidance about what they can and cannot claim during dissolution.

For more information, visit The dissolution period.

For the most part, MPs can claim as normal for their business costs during the dissolution period. The overriding principle, as ever, is that MPs cannot claim any funds to do with election campaigning.

All claims must be for expenditure required to carry out a Member’s parliamentary functions and not for any electoral activity.

This means that if MPs use their IPSA-funded offices for any activities connected with the election, they may only claim from IPSA the proportion of rent, utilities and other costs which relate to their parliamentary activity (see our guidance on how to calculate repayments of rent).

It is up to the MP to claim the correct amount from IPSA, either by changing the amount claimed by reimbursement or by making a payment to IPSA of the amount that is not claimable.

If your MP wishes to use IPSA-funded IT equipment for campaigning activities during dissolution, they must pay a "hire fee" to IPSA.

We will communicate the amount of the hire fee to offices at the start of dissolution (as an example, in 2019, the fee was calculated as £135 and was based on the average spend of MPs for the past five years, prorated to the five weeks of dissolution).

The fee should be paid as soon as possible by BACS payment, accompanied by a repayment form, and no later than 30 days after Polling Day.

This amount will count towards candidate spending. Please note that there is a separate fee payable for the use of House of Commons-funded equipment for campaigning activity.

The hire fee covers the usage of any IPSA-funded equipment during the dissolution period (that is, you do not need to pay the fee for each piece of equipment being used).

During dissolution, your MP should avoid making new purchases for office furniture, IT hardware and other capital equipment.

However, if your MP has an exceptional requirement, claims can be submitted but will need to be accompanied by a rationale for the exceptional nature of the claim. You should provide an explanation under the "add information" section when submitting a claim on IPSA Online.

If the MP plans to purchase office supplies which will be used both for parliamentary functions and for campaigning purposes, only the proportion which relates to their parliamentary functions may be claimed.

If the MP plans to purchase IT equipment, they must pay the hire fee if they plan to use it for campaigning purposes.

Neither the IPSA Payment Card nor the direct payment options should be used for procuring anything which will be used either wholly or partly for campaign-related purposes.

For more information, visit Offices and office equipment.

An MP who loses their seat or stands down will have four months after the Election to wind up their parliamentary affairs.

Whether you will be required to work for the duration of the winding-up period is for your MP to determine.

For more information, visit MPs leaving Parliament.

Ending your employment

MPs who are leaving Parliament will be provided with additional information regarding their contractual and legal responsibilities as your employer. MPs should follow a fair redundancy process as required by law.

For further information on the redundancy process, please refer to the guidance produced by the House of Commons.

Once the consultation has been completed, you will be given a redundancy notice letter terminating your employment, the timing of which is dependent on your last day of employment and your notice period.

The redundancy notice letter:

  • Gives you formal notice of termination of your contract of employment and your final day of service.

  • Sets out what you can expect to receive in the way of a redundancy payment.

Once you have been given a redundancy notice letter, you should be given reasonable time off, with pay, to look for other work during your notice period. This time off should be agreed in advance with your employer.

If, exceptionally, there is no work for you to do, you may be given a "pay in lieu of notice" payment (known as PILON).

IPSA will not fund PILON costs for staff members where the notice period falls outside of the winding-up period. This is because the winding-up period will be increased to four months at the next General Election and all staff members will be able to work out their notice period in that time if required.

Please make sure your correct home address is updated on IPSA Online. We will need to send you a P45 in the post.

Please also ensure you download your payslips and P60 (where relevant) from IPSA Online before your employment ends and you lose access to the system (this may be before the end of the winding-up period).

Redundancy payments

If you have completed two years of continuous service with the same MP, you will generally receive a redundancy payment, calculated on the number of completed years of continuous service, age and weekly salary.

The amount depends on whether you are on an IPSA contract or not.

Information for interns and casual workers can be found further down this page.

If you are not on an IPSA contract, your redundancy payment will be as stated in the contract.

If redundancy is not specified in your contract, you will receive your statutory redundancy entitlement (see below).

If you are on an IPSA contract, in line with those terms, you will be paid double your statutory entitlement.

Statutory redundancy entitlement is calculated based on your length of service (number of full years) and your age.

You can use the gov.uk Calculate your redundancy pay tool to find out your statutory entitlement.

Redundancy payments are capped at 20 years of service.

IPSA contracts

If you are on a non-IPSA contract, you can still request to move to an IPSA contract before the Election.

However, you should be aware that you would not be eligible for the increased redundancy entitlement (that is, double statutory redundancy) for a period of six months after your transfer.

Please bear in mind that moving contracts would also mean you would be subject to other IPSA regulations, such as set pay bands.

Staff members who move contracts will not lose their continuous service.

For more information, visit Contracts of employment and related issues.

Interns and casual workers

If you are an employed intern and have completed two years of continuous service with the same MP, you are entitled to a redundancy payment.

You will also be entitled to PILON as per your contract if you are not required to work your notice period.

However, unpaid interns, who are considered volunteers under the Scheme, are not entitled to redundancy pay or PILON.

If you are a casual worker, then you will not be entitled to redundancy payments as it is expected the work undertaken is project-based only and should not be long-term or continuous.

You may be entitled to notice or PILON as per your contract, which is usually one week.

Pension

If you begin working for another MP, your pension pot will be amalgamated with previous employments and no action is required.

If you leave your employment, IPSA will stop paying pension contributions on behalf of your employer. If you intend to take your pension benefits or want to transfer your pension to another employer, you will need to contact the provider below to inform them.

If you have any other questions, you should contact your pension provider at employerdedicatedteam@landg.com or on 0345 070 8686 (PIN 43).

For more information, please visit the Legal and General website.

Disposal of work equipment

Former MPs must arrange for the disposal of their office equipment and furniture, which should be done safely and securely, in compliance with data protection legislation set out in the House of Commons dissolution guidance (among other things).

Because assets have been funded by the taxpayer for the purpose of MPs carrying out their parliamentary role, when MPs no longer have any parliamentary work to do it is IPSA’s duty to safeguard public money by ensuring that assets are correctly disposed of or the depreciated cost is repaid.

The costs relating to the disposal of office equipment and furniture may be claimed from the Office Costs Budget.

Please keep clear records and be prepared to provide IPSA with information on how you disposed of your equipment.

You will be asked to provide a receipt/proof of sale for any equipment that was donated or sold.

For more information about the disposal of equipment, which highlights different options for IPSA-funded equipment purchased via the PDS/XMA portal, IPSA-funded equipment not purchased via the PDS/XMA portal, and PDS-funded equipment, visit What you need to do during winding-up.

Working for another MP

If you work for a different MP after the Election (either in the same constituency or a different one), this counts as starting a new employment.

This means you will still receive a redundancy payment, if you are entitled to one, from your service with your previous employer MP.

However, you will not receive continuity of service benefits when starting the new employment, meaning that the years you worked for the previous MP will not be included in calculations of occupational sick pay, family leave or future redundancy payment.

If your MP wins a new seat, this won’t necessarily affect your employment.

However, some MPs may decide to make changes to their staff arrangements when moving to a new constituency.

If your MP makes you redundant and you have more than two years of continuous service, then you will be entitled to a redundancy payment (please see here for the rules for interns and casual workers).

If the MP keeps you on as a staff member, then you will keep your continuous service, but you will not be entitled to redundancy pay.

If your MP changes party, then the normal rules apply and your employment is not necessarily affected.

If your MP is re-elected, they will be treated as a returned MP and it will be business as usual.

for more information, visit Returned MPs.

If your MP stands in a different seat and is not elected, they will need to end your employment in line with the process described above.

If your MP is forced to stand in a different seat due to the boundary changes, this will not affect your employment unless your MP decides to make changes to their staff arrangements.

In the event your MP wins a new seat, you may be required to transfer certain casework to another MP.

Please refer to the House of Commons guidance on data protection for this scenario.

If you choose to stand for election to Parliament, we understand that you will want to spend time campaigning in the run-up to the election.

Remember that you must not campaign during paid hours, but you can request time off as either annual leave or unpaid leave.

If you are elected to Parliament, you would need to start the process of becoming an MP immediately.

You must, therefore, give your MP notice to terminate your employment with immediate effect.

The MP would normally accept this situation and waive the notice that is due under the contract of employment, and your employment would then end with immediate effect.

If you are elected to the seat where your employer is standing down, you would still have to resign your role with immediate effect as you will be unable to work in your staff role during your notice period.

Whether you are entitled to a redundancy payment will depend on the specific circumstances. If you were given notice of redundancy prior to the election (for example because your employing MP was standing down), then assuming you have at least two years’ service, you would be entitled to a redundancy payment in line with your contract.

If however you resign your job upon being elected as an MP (and you were not given notice of redundancy before the election), you are considered to be leaving your job by choice and will not be entitled to a redundancy payment.

IPSA will not fund PILON costs for staff members who become MPs (for any period after Polling Day), because they are deemed to have left their role in order to take up office and are not available to work.

Contact IPSA

To get additional support, contact us.