Names of MPs whose staff are paid below the living wage

Request

Names of MPs employing staff not paid living wage


Response

IPSA holds the information that you request.

We are withholding the names of MPs listed in our response of 26th October, employing Section 40 of the Freedom of Information Act.  Section 40(2) provides that personal data about third parties is exempt 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.  Please see www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/36/section/40 for further information on this exemption.

We are applying this exemption in relation to the members of staff employed by Members of Parliament.  The size of the staff complement within a Member of Parliament’s office is small at generally four people and often less.  Releasing the name of the Member of Parliament will therefore identify junior members of staff and their salary, within a very narrow salary band. We are of the view that the salary of a junior member of staff constitutes personal data and its disclosure would be unfair to the member of staff in question.

In 2011 in the Report on the Annual Review, IPSA stated that it would only publish details of MPs’ staff earning more than £58,200 (ie senior staff) or where the member of staff in question is a connected party.  This approach is in line with guidance provided by the Information Commissioner’s Office guidance on requests for personal data about public authority employees which states that “it is reasonable to expect that a public authority would disclose more information relating to senior employees than more junior ones.

Ref:
FOI2012-A098
Disclosure:
November 22, 2012
Categories:
MPs' STAFFING
Exemptions Applied:
Section 40