Jess Phillips MP quite rightly campaigns on women's rights issues - including gender pay equality. It is my wish to be able to determine any gender pay gap associated with the staffing paid for through the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses for the constituency of Birmingham Yardley.
I would therefore appreciate it if you would provide the following specific information related to the staffing within this particular constituency please:
- The job title for each member of staff.
- The job description for each member of staff.
- The number of contracted hours for each staff position.
- The salary paid for each position.
- The gender of each member of staff filling each specific job.
IPSA holds the information that you have requested.
Following a change to our publication policy, we started publishing information about MPs’ staffing arrangements in 2014-15. This included the job titles of staff employed by each MP during that financial year alongside their employment arrangement. This information is published on an annual basis following the end of the financial year.
The most recent information relates to 2015-16, and can be found on the MP’s page (under ‘other financial information’) at the following address: https://www.theipsa.org.uk/mp-costs/your-mp/jess-phillips/
This provides the job titles and working arrangements of each staff member employed during that financial year. Salary ranges and job responsibilities for each role can be found here.
The FOIA states that information that is accessible by other means is not subject to release. Therefore, as the information you have requested is already available on our website, it is exempt from disclosure under section 21 of the FOIA (information accessible to applicant by other means).
Information relating to staff employed during 2016-17 will be published at the end of the financial year. Section 22(1) of the FOIA states that information intended for future publication is exempt from release. We have considered whether the public interest in releasing the information outweighs the application of the exemption. It is our opinion that the public interest is best served by publishing a full list of staff members employed during the full financial year rather than on an ad hoc basis, as in this way a clear, complete and comparable set of information is published, avoiding any potential confusion. It is for this reason that the application of the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure at this stage.
The specific salary of individual staff members, alongside their gender, is personal data under the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). As such, we have withheld such information in accordance with section 40 of the FOIA. For reference, section 40(2) provides that personal information about third parties is exempt information if disclosure would breach the fair processing principle (Principle 1) of the DPA, where it would be unfair to those persons or is confidential. You can find out more information about personal data and FOI via guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on their website: http://ico.org.uk.