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

Before we pay any claims, MPs must first agree they will abide by the rules of the Scheme of MPs’ Staffing and Business Costs (“the Scheme”).

We cannot consider any claims from MPs who have not yet done so. [3.2]

Meeting the IPSA principles means:

  • expenditure must be for parliamentary purposes [3.3]

  • you must have regard for value for money

  • remember you’re accountable for all claims, and managing budgets and staff

  • ensure probity by following the MPs’ code of conduct, including the seven principles of public life: selflessness / public interest, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty, leadership

Help us to help you

MPs are required to provide us with any reasonable information or assistance we need to carry out our regulatory or audit activities. [3.6]

Managing spending

MPs are responsible for planning, forecasting and managing their own budgets using the tools available on IPSA Online. [3.10]

Impact of disciplinary proceedings

Disciplinary proceedings by the House of Commons against an MP may affect our duty to pay their expenses. [3.7]

Publishing claims

We publish claims, along with our decision on each claim, on our website. This is subject to the Data Protection Act and the Freedom of Information Act, which can influence what we publish.

We may reduce budgets proportionately when they are made available to MPs at a date other than the start of the year, or closed before the end of the year. [3.10]

For example, if an MP is elected part way through a financial year, their budget will be pro-rated from their election date to 31 March.

For more information, visit Summary of 2021-22 budgets.

Budgets will also be pro-rated based on when an MP registers rental accommodation or a dependant [3.10].

For more information, visit:

The information below outlines the pay ranges for 2020-21 for an MP's Staff within the London area.

Job role: Administrative

Annual minimum: £22,402

Annual maximum: £30,882

Job role: Administrative 2 (senior secretary)

Annual minimum: £26,251

Annual maximum: £36,936

Job role: Administrative 3 (office manager)

Annual minimum: £33,759

Annual maximum: £48,360

Job role: Executive 1 (caseworker)

Annual minimum: £24,000

Annual maximum: £35,002

Job role: Executive 2 (senior caseworker)

Annual minimum: £32,000

Annual maximum: £42,046

Job role: Research 2 (parliamentary assistant)

Annual minimum: £25,500

Annual maximum: £35,308

Job role: Research 3 (senior parliamentary assistant)

Annual minimum: £36,575

Annual maximum: £51,207

Job role: Employed Interns

Annual minimum: £15,990

Annual maximum: £20,962.50

The information below outlines the pay ranges for 2020-21 for an MP's Staff outside the London area.

Job role: Administrative 1 (secretary)

Annual minimum: £18,391

Annual maximum: £26,243

Job role: Administrative 2 (senior secretary)

Annual minimum: £23,397

Annual maximum: £32,750

Job role: Administrative 3 (office manager)

Annual minimum: £30,000

Annual maximum: £45,552

Job role: Executive 1 (caseworker)

Annual minimum: £21,529

Annual maximum: £31,705

Job role: Executive 2 (senior caseworker)

Annual minimum: £28,311

Annual maximum: £39,981

Job role: Research 2 (parliamentary assistant)

Annual minimum: £23,839

Annual maximum: £33,068

Job role: Research 3 (senior parliamentary assistant)

Annual minimum: £32,811

Annual maximum: £45,000

Job role: Employed Interns

Annual minimum: £15,990

Annual maximum: £20,962.50

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 their work change such that they would be classified as an employed intern, you must contact us and provide the individual with a contract of employment, subject to National Minimum Wage legislation. [7.25]

Using IPSA Online

The Contractual Changes Form contains three sections which allow you to update the following changes:

  • extension to a fixed-term contract

  • change of hours and new job title

  • salary amendment

You only need to complete the section on the form that you wish to change.

  1. Note!

    To make changes to a contract, open IPSA Online.

  2. Step1

    Select the Main menu tab.

  3. Step2

    Select the Contractual Changes Form.

  4. Step3

    The Form ID field will state [NEW] and will be automatically generated when the form is saved.

  5. Step4

    In the Form description field enter a description of what the form is, detailing who the change is for and what the type of change is.

  6. Step5

    In the Employee details section, select the relevant staff member from the drop-down list in the Employee name field.

  7. Step6

    Select the Position from the drop-down menu.

  8. Step7

    If you want to extend a fixed-term contract, select the Calendar and choose the new end date for the fixed-term contract.

  9. Step8

    If you want to change hours or add a new job title, add the new job title of the staff member. If the job title remains the same, leave this field blank.

    If a new job title has been added, you will need to attach a Variation Letter and create a new job description. You can attach these via the Paperclip icon in the top right-hand corner of the page.

    When adding an attachment to the online form, make sure to change the Document type to "Payroll" using the dropdown list of options available in the top-right corner of the screen.

  10. Step9

    Add the new hours of the staff member in the Revised hours field.

    If they remain the same, enter the same number in this field as in the Current hours per week field.

  11. Step10

    Select the Calendar icon and the select the date the changes take effect in the Date effective field.

  12. Step11

    In the New hours per day section, select the Add button to add a new work schedule.

  13. Step12

    Type in the hours worked each day in the new work schedule line.

  14. Step13

    If you want to amend a staff member's salary, be aware that their current salary in the Current salary P/A field is populated automatically.

  15. Step14

    Type the new salary in the Revised salary P/A field. Alternatively fill in the Salary increase (%) to increase the salary by a percentage.

    If the staff member is on an IPSA contract, please ensure the revised salary falls within our salary bands for the London area and the non-London-area.

  16. Step15

    Select the Calendar icon and select the date the changes take effect.

  17. Step16

    Select Submit form.

You can check the status of any type of form you have submitted to Payroll by using IPSA Online.

  1. Note!

    Open IPSA Online.

  2. Step1

    On the Main menu navigate to the Forms section on the left-hand side of the screen.

    Select the type of form you would like to check from the list displayed.

  3. Step2

    Under the heading: Form ID – Please leave set as [NEW] and the system will generate a new ID.

  4. Step3

    Select the drop-down menu on the right, and choose Value lookup.

  5. Step4

    A pop-up will appear. Select Search.

  6. Step5

    Scroll down and select the form number from the list under Attribute value.

    From here you can view the progress of the form you have submitted.

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 Annual budget limits.

  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).

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

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

Contact IPSA

To get additional support, book a call back.