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Anonymised details of all staff members employed by MPs (August 2015)
CAS-26942
Disclosure Date:7 Sep 2015
Categories: MPs' STAFFING
Exemptions Applied: Section 40
Request

You made the following request on 12 August 2015.

A breakdown of salaries paid to MP staff according to the gender of the staff member employed.

If the data is available, I would also much appreciate it if you could disaggregate this gender pay audit data further by:

  • The political party of the MP;
  • The gender of the MP (and the political party of the MP);
  • Employee job title (and the political party of the MP);
  • Weekly hours worked, or an indication of whether the employee is part-time or full-time (and the political party of the MP);
  • The ethnic origin of the employee (and the political party of the MP);
  • Whether the employee self-identifies as disabled (and the political party of the MP);
  • The length of service the employee has worked (and the political party of the MP)

On 28 August, you asked for two further pieces of information.

I would be interested in two additional pieces of data, should these be available. The first would be an additional column indicating whether the staff member is a ‘connected party’; the second is whether or not the staff member is employed in Westminster, or in the constituency office.

Response

As you will be aware, IPSA is responsible for paying the salaries of MPs’ staff, the costs of which are paid through each MP’s Staffing Expenditure budget, under the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (‘the Scheme’).

As such, we hold information on each staff member employed by MPs and paid through IPSA’s payroll, including the staff member’s gender, the gender of the employing MP, the employee’s job title, the weekly hours worked and the employee’s service start date. We do not hold information on the ethnic origin of the employee or whether employees identify as disabled, and so are unable to provide this information.

Please click here to download the information that you have requested. The information includes all individuals currently employed by MPs, including those on permanent, temporary, fixed-term and casual contracts.

Those on casual contracts submit weekly timesheets, and so we do not hold a salary. Their salary is therefore indicated as ‘0’ or left blank. For part-time employees, the salary indicated is that actually paid (rather than a full-time equivalent figure).

Individuals who were employed prior to the establishment of IPSA in May 2010 may remain on their previous contracts of employment with the House of Commons, and their contractual terms may therefore differ from IPSA’s current guidelines. In some instances, House of Commons contracts do not specify a working location, and we do not therefore hold this information. Where this is the case, the cell is left blank. All individuals employed since IPSA was established are required to conform with IPSA’s guidelines.

In accordance with section 40 of the FOIA, we have withheld data relating to individuals employed by parties represented by smaller parties and independent MPs: the Speaker, the Green Party, the UK Independence Party, Plaid Cymru, the Ulster Unionist Party, the Social Democratic and Labour Party and an Independent MP. In all of these instances, the nature of the information would make it possible to identify individual MPs, and disclosure of this information would therefore indirectly identify the personal data of individuals employed by these MPs, in contravention of the Data Protection Act.

We have also withheld a small number of job titles, the disclosure of which would – alongside other publicly available information – make it possible to identify individual staff members and their personal data.

We are also unable to provide information on whether or not the employee in question is a connected party. As noted above, disclosure of this information would – alongside other publicly available information – make it possible to identify individual staff members and their personal data (such as their exact salary).

Section 40(2) provides that personal information about third parties is exempt information if one of the conditions set out in section 40(3) is satisfied. Under the FOI Act disclosure of this information would breach the fair processing principle (Principle 1) of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), where it would be unfair to those persons or is confidential. For further information, you may wish to visit the UK Legislation website.

However, you may be interested in the data we already publish on connected parties, which is available on our publication website at the following address: http://www.parliamentary-standards.org.uk/AnnualisedData.aspx.