I would like to request under the Freedom of Information Act:
- The total amount paid out by the House of Commons in relation to employment disputes with Members' staff, in each year since 2011/12.
I understand this data was collected by the House of Commons in previous years (as listed here) but now Ipsa does it.
If possible please provide a detailed breakdown including which MP the staff members worked for when the disputes arose.
IPSA does not hold the information that you have requested.
Under the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (‘the Scheme’), IPSA pays the salaries and other employment related costs for staff members employed to assist with the performance of the MP’s parliamentary functions.
However, as office holders, MPs are the legal employers of their staff. We do not provide any HR-related services to MPs or MPs’ staff and are not party to discussions between an MP and their staff. Further, we do not pay compensation payments or the costs of any compromise agreements.
Payments made by the House of Commons
It is possible that the House of Commons may cover some settlement related costs. You can contact their FOI team at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Employment Practice Liability Insurance
Costs arising from employment disputes between an MP and their staff are often covered by employment practice liability insurance (EPL). IPSA has arranged a facilitated purchase of EPL, the premiums for which can be deducted from the MP’s Office Costs Expenditure (OCE) budget under the Scheme if an MP decides to purchase the cover through IPSA. Alternatively, MPs may choose to purchase their own insurance, the costs of which can be reimbursed to the MP from their OCE budget. Details of all claims made by MPs, including those for ELP insurance are published on our website.
We do not hold any information relating to the MP’s relationship with their insurer, including details of any pay outs made as a result of an employment dispute.
Salary related costs
As we pay the salaries and other pay elements of MPs’ staff (such as pay in lieu of notice and holiday pay), it is possible that any payments due to a staff member as a result of an employment dispute may be paid by us. However, any such payments are not separately identified from any other payments due to staff members at the end of their employment.
HR advice costs claimed under the Scheme
As noted above, MPs can claim costs associated with the running of an office under the Scheme. This would include the costs of HR advice provided to the MP by external consultants ('professional services'). Details of all claims made for professional services are published on our website. However, we would not necessarily know the purpose of the expenditure, nor whether it specifically related to an employment dispute with a staff member.