Details of unpaid workers employed by MPs

Request

  1. How many Members of Parliament employ unpaid workers in their staff

  2. Which Members of Parliament employ unpaid workers

  3. How long these members of staff have been working as unpaid workers

  4. The title of the role that each unpaid worker is undertaking


Response

IPSA holds some of the information that you request.  MPs are required to register unpaid workers, termed intern volunteers, with IPSA if they wish to claim expenses for those workers.  Once an intern volunteer has been registered the MP may make claims for reasonable travel and subsistence expenditure for them, supported by receipts.  We only hold records for intern volunteers who have been registered by MPs for the purpose of claiming expenses.

The number of MPs that have registered intern volunteers to date is 274. Annex A contains a list of those MPs who have registered intern volunteers with IPSA, as of 15 March 2012.  This list does not give a snapshot of which MPs currently have intern volunteer, but is a list of all MPs who at some point have registered an intern volunteer on the expenses system since May 2010.  An intern volunteer may have left the staff of MPs since being registered and, therefore, it is possible that some MPs who appear on this list currently have no intern volunteers on their staff.  That a particular MP appears on the list is also not necessarily an indication that they have claimed expenses for that particular intern volunteer.

IPSA are not provided with an end date for work done by intern volunteers.  The purpose of the intern volunteer agreement is to register the intern volunteer on our expenses IT system, enabling the MP to submit claims for expenses (accompanied by hard copy original receipts).  Once an intern volunteer has finished working for an MP, expenses claims for that particular staff member will no longer submitted.  We do not, therefore, hold definitive data on the length of time intern volunteers’ work in MPs’ offices.  Annex B details the title of the roles that each intern volunteer has undertaken at a particular MP’s office.  The default role title on the Intern Volunteer agreement is ‘intern volunteer’, however, MPs are free to replace this with their own title, as they find appropriate.

Ref:
FOI2012-A017
Disclosure:
March 19, 2012
Categories:
MPs' STAFFING
Exemptions Applied:
None