Overview

Learn the rules for new starters, and how to adjust staff budgets if someone starts mid-year.

You can also complete IPSA Online tasks including new starter checklists, MP staff job descriptions and pay bands, volunteer arrangement forms, and how to change employment contracts.

Before you start read Adding a new member of staff.

Scheme rules

The information below outlines the pay ranges for 2023-24 for an MP's Staff within the London area.

Job roleAnnual minimumAnnual maximum
Administrative 1 (Administrative Officer)£23,303£33,701
Administrative 2 (Senior Administrative Officer)£26,251£40,308
Administrative 3 (Office Manager)£33,759£52,775
Executive 1 (Caseworker)£24,000£38,197
Executive 2 (Senior Caseworker)£33,110£45,927
Research 2 (Parliamentary Assistant)£25,500£39,302
Research 3 (Senior Parliamentary Assistant)£36,575£56,312
Employed Interns£19,851£23,303
MP representative (MP parental leave and absence cover)£64,828

The MPs’ staff pay ranges are designed to ensure MPs have the option of paying all staff the voluntary Living Wage, also known as the Real Living Wage (as determined by the Living Wage Foundation).

Where the voluntary Living Wage is adjusted such that it exceeds the maximum of any published pay range, IPSA will treat the voluntary Living Wage as the new maximum for the remainder of the financial year.

The information below outlines the pay ranges for 2023-24 for an MP's Staff outside the London area.

Job roleAnnual minimumAnnual maximum
Administrative 1 (Administrative Officer)£21,255£28,639
Administrative 2 (Senior Administrative Officer)£24,567£35,740
Administrative 3 (Office Manager)£30,445£49,711
Executive 1 (Caseworker)£21,529£34,599
Executive 2 (Senior Caseworker)£28,311£43,673
Research 2 (Parliamentary Assistant)£24,688£36,087
Research 3 (Senior Parliamentary Assistant)£32,811£49,624
Employed Interns£19,851£23,303
MP representative (MP parental leave and absence cover)£64,828

The MPs’ staff pay ranges are designed to ensure that MPs have the option of paying all staff the voluntary Living Wage, also known as the Real Living Wage (as determined by the Living Wage Foundation).

Where the voluntary Living Wage is adjusted such that it exceeds the maximum of any published pay range, IPSA will treat the voluntary Living Wage as the new maximum for the remainder of the financial year.

Volunteers are not required to carry out specific duties for the MP, and they are assisting the MP with his or her duties on a voluntary basis.

Should the nature of the volunteer’s work change so that they would be classified as an employed intern, the MP must contact IPSA and provide the individual with a contract of employment, subject to National Minimum Wage legislation. [7.27]

MPs must notify IPSA whenever an arrangement with a volunteer comes to an end. [7.28]

Using IPSA Online

Downloads

Guidance

As the independent regulator of MPs’ pay, pensions, and staffing and business costs IPSA:

MPs are required to stay within budgets for different costs that we set.

We help MPs and their staff comply with the rules by providing advice and guidance.

We monitor how well the rules are being followed, analyse spending patterns and follow up on possible breaches.

Our approach means we achieve a high level of compliance with the rules, without adding unnecessary burdens.

We are committed to openness and transparency. We publish data on MPs’ staffing and business costs every two months so that everyone can access this information.

Read the latest version of the Scheme of MPs’ Staffing and Business Costs.

When you add a new member of staff to your payroll, you need to follow these steps.

  1. Check if you have enough money in your budget by visiting Summary of 2022-23 budgets.

  2. Decide if you want to recruit someone on a permanent, fixed-term or casual basis.

  3. Select a job description for the role to which you wish to recruit, and check the salary range.

  4. Advertise the vacancy and conduct appropriate assessments to ensure you have the best candidate for the role. (The Members’ HR Advice Service in the House of Commons can provide advice on this stage – their number is 020 7219 2080).

  5. Complete the security vetting forms and return them to the Pass Office. Anyone working for you should be security cleared in advance. This is for your own protection and the protection of others. Until a Member (as sponsor) has been informed that security clearance has been granted for their staff member, no firm offer of employment should be made, nor must they allow that person to work on the Estate or access the Parliamentary Network.

  6. Once security clearance in accordance with House requirements is confirmed, create and print out a contract for the successful candidate ensuring the job title is the same as the one in the job description. It is important to note that standard terms within contracts for MPs’ employees cannot be amended or deleted.

  7. Ask your employee to sign the contract (in blue ink) and also ask them to complete and sign the New Starter Form. The latter also asks the individual to enclose a P45 or HMRC Starter Checklist.

  8. As the employer, ensure the candidate has the right to work in the UK using the Employer's right-to-work checklist.

  9. Send IPSA:

  • the original version of the contract (signed by you and your employee in blue ink)

  • the job description for the role

  • a New Starter Form (signed by your employee), with a P45 or HMRC New Starter Checklist enclosed as appropriate

For new staff on permanent and fixed-term contracts, we need to receive this documentation by the 15th of the month to ensure the employee is paid at the end of the month.

For new staff on casual contracts, we need to receive the documentation by the 15th of the month. Note that casual hours are paid a month in arrears (for example, hours worked in January are paid in February).

Casual staff members can be engaged on an ad-hoc basis or for a very short period of time.

If the pattern of work becomes regular – either on a full-time or part-time basis – the casual staff members should move to a different type of contract.

For information about the types of contracts that are available, visit Making contractual changes.

Casual staff members who move to a different type of contract must complete a New Contract Form and send it by email to payroll@theipsa.org.uk.

Contracts can be generated using the Staff Contract Generator.

Casual staff members can take any of the job titles and roles pre-approved by IPSA – apart from the role of Intern which has a dedicated contract and job description.

For more information, visit MPs’ Staff Job Descriptions and Pay Bands for 2023-24.

Adding casual staff members to the IPSA Payroll

To add a casual staff member to the payroll, you need to provide the same documents as you would for a new starter. These include:

Casual contracts must be sent to IPSA by email by the seventh day of the month the employee started.

This is to allow time for the employee to be added to the payroll and set up online – and to allow enough time for them to submit any timesheets for the month they started.

How casual staff members can access IPSA Online

When a new casual staff member is added to the payroll, IPSA automatically generates a new online account.

This account is linked to the email address provided on the employee New Starter Form.

An automated email will be sent to the employee inviting them to complete their login.

The process takes just a few minutes and requires the employee to:

  • enter the email address provided on the New Starter Form

  • define a password, and

  • add a mobile number as a second authentication factor

For more information, visit Using IPSA Online.

If they want to change the email address allocated to their IPSA Online account – for example, to change it from a personal to a work email address – please email the request to payroll@theipsa.org.uk.

If you experience any issues logging into IPSA Online, please visit our troubleshooting guide The ABC of IPSA Online.

Paying casual staff members

Casual staff members must submit weekly timesheets in IPSA Online.

Timesheets must be submitted within 90 days of the hours being worked.

For information on how to submit timesheets, visit Completing the MP Staff Overtime & Casual Claim Form.

The submitted timesheets are sent for approval to the Proxy (Office Manager) or in the absence of a proxy, to the MP before being directed to IPSA for payment.

Timesheets must be with IPSA by the end of the business day on the monthly deadline for the employee to be paid at the end of the month.

Timesheets received after the monthly deadline will be paid in the following month.

For more information, visit Payroll cut-off dates 2023-24.

Casual staff members accrue holiday with their hours and the holiday is paid with each submitted timesheet automatically. There is no need to claim holidays separately.

For more information, visit the Casual holiday pay calculator.

Casual staff members and pension auto-enrolment

All staff members are enrolled into the pension scheme, to which 10% of all monthly earnings are contributed.

The MP’s pension scheme is an employer’s contributory scheme only and no deductions are taken from the employees’ pay.

After receiving the first payment, the staff member is enrolled with the pension provider Legal and General.

They will provide the employee with information about managing their pension policy in the month after they were added to the IPSA payroll.

For more information, visit MPs’ Staff pension guidance.

Accessing payslips for casual staff members

Casual staff members can access their payslips using their IPSA Online account.

They will be available in the final week of the month. Payday is always the last working day of the month.

For more information, visit Accessing your payslip and Accessing your P60.

Keeping track of submitted timesheets

You can keep track of all submitted timesheets by using the history and status of submitted forms report in IPSA Online.

For more information and to check any submitted timesheets, visit History and status of submitted forms.

Ending a casual staff member agreement

When a casual agreement comes to an end, the staff member must complete an MP Staff Leaver Form in IPSA Online.

The form will be sent directly to the Proxy (their line manager) or in the absence of a Proxy, to the MP.

Please ensure the staff member downloads all their payslips as soon as the Leaver Form is submitted.

Their IPSA Online account will be deactivated once their payroll record is updated with their leaving date, and it cannot be reactivated.

IPSA can only issue a P45 upon receipt of a Leaver Form.

The P45 will be sent to the former staff member’s home address.

For more information, visit Using the MP Staff Leaver Form.

The Yearly salary calculator allows offices to run a quick forecast of the staffing budget expenditure for a 12-month period.

It is commonly used at the beginning of the financial year when the staff modelling report is not yet available.

Throughout the year, it can be used alongside the Staff Modelling Report to check whether there are any variations to the original forecast.

MPs can use the MP team report to check their current staff’s salaries and enter them into the calculator to conduct an annual overview of the total costs being charged to the staffing budget.

Open the Yearly salary calculator.

Each year we updated the pay bands and job descriptions for all MPs' staff.

This information should be read in conjunction with our Leave & holidays page, which includes guidance on parental leave.

Download the full details of MPs' Staff Job Descriptions and Pay Bands for 2023-24.

Each year we updated the pay bands and job descriptions for all MPs' staff.

This information should be read in conjunction with our Leave & holidays page, which includes guidance on parental leave.

Download the full details of MPs' Staff Job Descriptions and Pay Bands for 2022-23.

All MPs' staff employed after 7 May 2010 must have a relevant job description, as well as a contract and a salary within the relevant pay range.

IPSA has created a job description generator that helps you produce and print job descriptions.

Before starting, users should review all the roles and duties available.

If the employee will be undertaking a mixture of two roles, please produce a job description for each.

Open resource

IPSA provides model contracts and job descriptions which MPs need to use for all new staff they employ.

To help with this process IPSA has created a tool that will allow MPs to generate and print employment contracts for their staff.

Open resource

Use the checklist if you start a new job or have been sent to work in the UK, so your new employer can complete their PAYE payroll.

You can use the checklist, if:

  • you have a student or postgraduate loan

  • your personal details are different to those shown on your P45

  • you do not have a P45

  • you have been sent to work temporarily in the UK by your overseas employer

You can access and complete the checklist online.

You can also download a print version, and submit it to your employer.

The New Starter Checklist is a useful tool to help ensure the correct documentation is sent to us and to allow us to process a new starter.

It also provides relevant information that can be shared with your new starter.

You can download and complete the checklist offline.

Job families are groupings of jobs related by common vocations/professions. Accordingly, they have many similarities.

Each job in a family is similar in that they:

  • require similar knowledge, skills and abilities (competencies)

  • have a continuum of knowledge, skills and abilities that represent a career path from the lowest to the highest level job

  • possess associated and related key behaviours

The job families are:

  • administrative

  • executive

  • research

  • employed Intern

  • administrative/research

The House of Commons Members’ HR Service has produced a Best Practice Recruitment and Selection Guide to provide practical advice on efficient and effective recruitment practices.

The guide aims to support Members (and their Office Managers) with the tools to attract and recruit people with diverse backgrounds, skills and abilities.

It looks at the different stages of a recruitment process, which would normally include:

  • identifying the role you need and how it will support the function of your office

  • how to write a job description in line with IPSA requirements

  • guidance on writing a person specification

  • putting an advert together and exploring various options to advertise your vacancy

  • best practice for selection methods

  • making a job offer, and the that need to be carried out, including security vetting and employment references

Read the Members of Parliament Best Practice Guide – Recruitment and Selection.

Contact IPSA

To get additional support, contact us.