Overview

Browse the rules around redundancy payments, winding up office, winding up payments, and loss of office. View the guidance on giving notice.

You can also download the Staff Leaver Form, Exit Surveys, and Winding-up Declarations.

Scheme rules

Redundancy payments, pay in-lieu-of-notice and pay for untaken leave when staff members leave employment must be funded from the staffing budget, except where these are the result of an MP leaving office.

IPSA may consider funding exceptional cases from the contingency budget. [7.5]

If you need HR advice on matters such as recruitment, redundancy, and employment law – contact the House of Commons HR Advice Service.

Winding-up payments and loss-of-office payments are treated as redundancy payments for tax purposes.

This means that if the combined amount paid to a former MP reaches the threshold set by HMRC, any amounts over the threshold will be subject to tax. [8.15]

Winding-up costs may be claimed by former MPs from the budgets outlined in the Scheme to support them in completing their outstanding parliamentary functions, including the costs of closing down constituency offices.

Winding-up costs may be claimed following a general election by former MPs who have not stood for re-election or have lost their seat at the election, as well as by those who cease to be MPs during a parliament. [8.1]

Download the Winding-up Declaration Form.

Former MPs may claim for winding-up costs incurred during a maximum of two months after they have left Parliament, referred to as the winding-up period.

For former MPs who either stand down or lose their seats at a general election, the winding-up period starts on the day after the election.

For those who cease to be MPs during a parliament, the winding-up period starts on the day after the seat is vacated. [8.2]

IPSA may make provision to extend the winding-up period beyond two months in exceptional circumstances or in the event an MP has been recalled and is contesting a by-election to return to Parliament. [8.3]

Former MPs will be eligible to receive a winding-up payment if one of the following conditions apply:

  • they lose their seat at a general election, meaning that they were an MP on the day before the dissolution of Parliament and a candidate for re-election for the same seat, but not re-elected, or

  • they stand down at a general election which occurs before the end of a fixed parliamentary term [8.9]

A winding-up payment is of a value equivalent to two months’ salary after the deduction of tax and National Insurance (the payment is not actually taxed).

This is a single amount applicable to all eligible MPs, calculated using the MPs’ basic salary during the financial year in which the election occurs and standard tax and National Insurance deductions.

It will be paid with the first payroll which takes place during the winding-up period. [8.10]

Winding-up costs may include:

  • salary, National Insurance and employer pension contribution costs, and any overtime payments for staff who continue to work for the MP during the winding-up period

  • accommodation rental payments and/or associated costs during the winding-up period

  • any office and travel costs during the winding-up period which remain necessary for the completion of the MP’s parliamentary functions, including any contractual liabilities, such as office rent, utility bills and equipment rental payments

  • the costs, including removals, of leaving any office or accommodation funded under the Scheme [8.4]

Disability or security assistance claims

MPs who received disability or security assistance prior to leaving Parliament may continue to claim on the same basis until the end of the winding-up period. [8.8]

IPSA will not pay claims for the purchase of new office equipment (including IT) and furniture. If former MPs have an exceptional need for these during the winding-up period they must apply for contingency funding [8.6]

The costs of staff redundancy payments, payments for untaken leave and pay-in-lieu-of-notice as a result of winding-up will be met from the contingency budget.

Former MPs are expected to give their staff notice of redundancy at a point that allows them to wind up their affairs effectively and minimises the cost of pay in-lieu-of-notice to the taxpayer. [8.7]

Former MPs will be eligible to receive a loss-of-office payment if they lose their seat at a general election, meaning that they were an MP on the day before the dissolution of Parliament and a candidate for re-election for the same seat, but not re-elected. [8.11]

The amount of the loss-of-office payment will be equal to double the prevailing statutory redundancy entitlement.

An MP will only be eligible for a loss-of-office payment if they have held office for a continuous period of at least two years at the point they lose their seat. [8.12]

IPSA will only pay the loss-of-office payment after former MPs have made the following arrangements to wind up their affairs, where necessary:

  • issuing redundancy notices to staff and sending instructions to IPSA

  • repaying any outstanding debts to IPSA (such as repayment of deposit loans and overpayments)

  • submitting all business costs claims for the period running up to the election (or point at which the seat was vacated)

  • carrying out administrative tasks, such as cancellation of the IPSA payment card

  • any other necessary tasks identified by IPSA [8.13]

MPs may have outstanding debts to IPSA deducted from their entitlement to a winding-up or loss-of-office payment.

Any remaining entitlement will be subject to the conditions above. [8.14]

Former MPs must arrange for the disposal of their office equipment and furniture, which should be done safely and securely, in compliance with data protection legislation (amongst other things).

The costs relating to the disposal of office equipment and furniture may be claimed from IPSA. Former MPs may choose to transfer items to another MP or donate them to a charity of their choice.

If former MPs make any money from disposing of equipment, this must be refunded to IPSA.

Where former MPs or staff members choose to retain items, they will be required to repay an amount equivalent to the depreciated value of the item to IPSA. [8.5]

Using IPSA Online

There are 11 payroll forms which MP staff and MPs can track on the Form Tracker in IPSA Online.

The tracker will tell you the status of the form and who it is with to be actioned.

The process is the same for each of the 11 forms, but each tracker must be set up individually.

The forms are:

  • Reward and Recognition Form

  • MP Staff Leaver Form

  • Contractual Changes Form

  • MP Staff Maternity Leave Request Form

  • MP Staff Adoption Notification Form

  • MP Staff Paternity Leave Request Form

  • MP Staff Shared Parental Leave Form

  • Volunteer's Personal Details Change

  • Season Ticket Request Form

  • Bike Loan Form

  • MP Proxy Form (only MPs can submit this form)

  1. Note!

    Open IPSA Online.

    Naming convention tip

    The best way to use the tracker is to have a naming convention so you can differentiate between submitted forms. We suggest:

    Title of the form / To whom it relates / Date the form was submitted

    Submit your form.

    Once an MP or a proxy has submitted the form you can visit the Form Trackers to check its status.

  2. Step1

    In the main menu, select Reports from the left-hand menu.

  3. Step2

    Select the MP Reports menu dropdown.

  4. Step3

    Select the Form Trackers dropdown.

    Select the form you want to track from the list.

  5. Step4

    You can now view the status of the form you have submitted under the Form Status column.

    If there is an Action Needed flag, it will also be marked with a red block.

    "For action with [name]" means the form is with the named individual to action.

    If the form is Complete, and no further action is required, it will be marked with a green block.

    The form has been approved by the MP/Proxy and has been processed by us.

  6. Step5

    If the form is In Progress, it will be marked with an orange block.

    "For action with IPSA" means the form has been approved by the MP/Proxy and is with us to action.

    If the form has been fully approved and is with us, it will be processed before the next pay run at the end of the month.

The MP Staff Leaver Form must be submitted on IPSA Online.

If the member of staff is completing the form it will go to the Proxy or MP for approval.

If a Proxy is completing the form it will go to the MP for approval.

  1. Note!

    You need to have details of the staff member's home address, personal email address, their last date of employment, details of their annual leave and reason for leaving to hand.

    Open IPSA Online.

  2. Step1

    From the Main menu select Forms.

  3. Step2

    Select MP Staff Leaver Form.

  4. Step3

    The Form ID field will state [NEW] and will be automatically generated when the form is saved.

  5. Step4

    In the Form description field enter a description of what the form is and the name of the staff member.

  6. Step5

    In the Submitted By Details section, your name will automatically appear in the Entered By field.

  7. Step6

    In the Employee Details section, select the staff member from the drop-down Form For List.

    Enter their Home Address .

    Enter their Personal E-mailaddress, which is a mandatory field. Their final payslip and P45 will be sent to their home address.

  8. Step7

    In the Leaver Information section, select the Calendar icon and select the relevant date in the Last date of employment field.

  9. Step8

    In the Reason for leaving field, press space bar and select the reason from the list. If the reason is Redundancy, a copy of the dismissal notice letter signed by both the MP and MP Staff member must be provided.

    Advice on how to do this is at the end of this How to use IPSA Online guide.

  10. Step9

    In the Annual leave due field, if applicable, enter the number of days or hours the staff member has remaining in their pro-rata entitlement.

    Payment for the days/hours will be added to their final payslip.

  11. Step10

    Please select whether the value in Annual Leave Due is in Hours or Days using the drop-down list.

  12. Step11

    In the Excess annual leave taken field, if applicable, enter the number of days or hours taken over the staff member’s pro-rata entitlement.

    This will be deducted from their final pay. If calculating a part-time staff member’s pro-rata annual leave, include all bank holidays in the total calculation.

  13. Step12

    Please select whether the value in Excess Annual Leave Taken is in Hours or Days using the drop-down list.

  14. Step13

    In the free text field please breakdown if the Annual Leave Due or Excess Annual Leave Taken was prior to the current calendar year.

  15. Step14

    If the staff member has been made redundant, please provide details in the free text field of any payment of Pay In Lieu of Notice (PILON) they are due and the redundancy payment they are entitled to.

  16. Step15

    Read the Declaration for MP section.

  17. Step16

    If the staff member is being made redundant, we must be provided with a copy of the dismissal notice letter.

    Click on the Save as Draft button at the bottom of the page.

    You will then be given a form number to take note of.

  18. Step17

    Click on the paperclip symbol at the top right-hand side of the page.

  19. Step18

    Select the Dismissal Notice Letter on the left-hand side.

  20. Step19

    Select Add a document.

  21. Step20

    Select Upload and locate the saved dismissal notice letter that you want to attach.

    Select Open.

    The document title will default to the saved document name.

    Select Save.

  22. Step21

    Select the X and you will returned to your form.

  23. Step22

    Select Submit form.

  24. Step23

    Once you have submitted the form, make a note of the form ID at the top of the page.

Downloads

Guidance

Staff resignation

If a staff member wishes to stop working for an MP, he or she must provide a letter of resignation, giving the MP the number of weeks’ notice as stated in their contract.

For contracts from 10 April 2017, if the staff member is still within their probationary period and wishes to leave, they need only give one week’s notice to the MP. In all other cases, the staff member should provide their MP with the notice period that is within their contract of employment.

When this is done, the staff member should finalise their leaving date with the MP and discuss what will happen during the notice period. It may be practical for the staff member to take any accrued but untaken leave during this time, or any possible accrued time off in lieu.

Remember, leave is only accrued up to and including the last date of employment.

The staff member may ask to leave earlier than the end of their formal notice period and the MP may agree to this. If this happens it is a mutually agreed leave date and this date will be used for all calculations (for example, salary and annual leave). If this occurs, the staff member will NOT be paid for any remaining time in the notice period.

As soon as the last day of employment is agreed upon, the person leaving should complete their own online leaver forms.

Read more about Using the Staff Leaver Form in IPSA Online.

Unused annual leave

Staff members should complete the annual leave section on the leaver form.

If the staff leaving has got unused annual leave carried over from a previous calendar year, they should include the number in the form description field.

If the person leaving needs help to calculate their pro-rata leave entitlement for the amount of the year worked, they can visit Calculating and managing your annual leave entitlement.

In IPSA Online, the staff absence balance screen shows the total entitlement until the end of the calendar year for a permanent staff member, or until the end of a fixed-term contract for a temporary member of staff.

Payment in lieu of notice (PILON)

It is usual for staff members to work throughout their notice period, but the MP can stop this requirement and pay the staff member for some or all their notice period in lieu of working. This is discussed between the MP and the staff member and will be outlined on the leaver’s form clearly stating the number of days or weeks that should be paid in lieu.

Visit Calculating and managing your annual leave entitlement to help work out the costs of this.

PILON will come out of the MP’s general staffing budget, or from the Contingency budget if the MP is leaving office. (See What happens at a general election? below for additional information).

PILON is a non-pensionable payment. This means that neither the member of staff nor the MP, as the employer, make any pension contributions against this payment.

The MP ending the contract of employment

It may be necessary for the MP to end a member of staff’s employment for a reason other than their resignation. Such a situation may include dismissal for conduct or capability reasons, or redundancy when the MP restructures their office and some job roles are no longer required. More usually it is because of a general election when the MP has decided not to stand for re-election or loses their seat.

In any of these circumstances, an MP is required formally to give their staff notice that their employment is ending for one of the above reasons, or others. In each case, an appropriate process must have been followed before the notice is given. For redundancy, this must include consultation with the staff member(s).

Guidance for all circumstances will be given by Members’ HR, who can be reached on 020 7219 2080 or by email to: membershr@parliament.uk

Once the last day of employment has been agreed MPs or their office managers should complete a Leaver Form attach a copy of the notice letter signed by both parties.

Read more about Using the Staff Leaver Form in IPSA Online.

Unused annual leave

The notice letter should refer to the amount of unused annual leave on the final day of employment. It should clearly outline any annual leave carried over from a previous calendar year, and the annual leave accrued during the current calendar year.

If the person leaving needs help to calculate their pro-rata leave entitlement for the amount of the year worked, they can visit Calculating and managing your annual leave entitlement.

In IPSA Online, the staff absence balance screen shows the total entitlement until the end of the calendar year for a permanent staff member, or until the end of a fixed-term contract for a temporary member of staff.

Transferring your accounts

If you are an MP's proxy and/or an office manager and you are leaving your role, please ensure you have transferred your responsibilities for utility and other bills to your replacement, including updating the email address held with your provider.

Ending a fixed-term contract

A fixed-term contract usually comes to an end on the last date of the contract, unless terminated earlier by the employer or staff member giving notice in line with their contract of employment.

If the MP does not wish to extend the contract, to remove any ambiguity, they should confirm with the staff member ahead of time that their contract will finish on the last date.

If the staff member on a fixed-term contract has to have their contract ended early because of redundancy after a general election, they must be treated in the same way as other staff members.

This will mean consulting with the employee and giving notice in line with their contract of employment.

If a staff member is not told that the contract is ending and they arrive for work the day after the contract end date and this is accepted by the MP the staff member will be considered to have ongoing employment and continuous service.

Please remember that if the staff member has more than two years’ continuous service at the end of the contract, or when their contract is terminated, they will qualify for a redundancy payment.

When the staff member is made aware their contract is ending on their contract's end date (or extended end date), the person leaving should complete their own online Leaver Form

Read more about Using the Staff Leaver Form in IPSA Online.

Unused annual leave

Staff members should complete the annual leave section on the leaver form.

If they have any unused annual leave that has been carried over from the previous calendar year, they should include the number of days in the form description field.

If the person leaving needs help to calculate their pro-rata leave entitlement for the amount of the year worked, they can visit Calculating and managing your annual leave entitlement.

In IPSA Online, the staff absence balance screen shows the total entitlement until the end of the calendar year for a permanent staff member, or until the end of a fixed-term contract for a temporary member of staff.

Apprentices

Apprentices have a specific contract of employment based on their activities. Apprentices are a specific type of fixed-term contract. Therefore if the contract needs to be ended prior to the natural end date, such as after the MP stands down or loses their seat at the General Election, they must be treated like all other staff on fixed-term contracts and made redundant following the appropriate process. Contracts for apprentices vary in length depending on their programme and this may mean that the staff member may not have enough length of service to qualify for a redundancy payment.

In addition, the MP will have an agreement with a college to provide the education element of the apprenticeship. The MP should also raise this issue with the college so they are aware of the situation prior to making the staff member redundant.

Notice periods

In all cases, staff must be given the correct amount of notice. For new contracts from 10 April 2017, the notice period during the first six months’ probationary period is one week for either the MP or the staff member. After the probationary period, or for other staff, the contractual notice period to end the contract given by either the MP or staff member is usually four or eight weeks, although some contracts may be different.

There can be a difference between contractual notice (the notice period in the contract) and statutory notice (the legal requirement to provide appropriate notice based on length of service – this increases by one week per year up to a maximum of 12 weeks for staff with more than four years’ service). Staff must receive notice that is the longer period of the two.

Example:

  1. If a staff member has four weeks contractual notice but has worked for the MP for six years and three months at their point of leaving, they would be entitled to six weeks’ notice because of the statutory notice.

  2. If a staff member has eight weeks’ contractual notice and has worked for the MP for six years and three months’ service, they would be entitled to eight weeks’ notice because of the contractual notice.

This rule applies regardless of the reason that notice is given to the staff member by the MP.

What happens at a general election?

If an MP chooses not to stand at the next general election or loses their seat, they have two calendar months from the date of the general election to formally close their office(s). Each MP will have individual requirements during this winding-up period depending on their circumstances. As the MP is no longer an officeholder, staff costs will not be paid on behalf of the MP beyond the end of the winding-up period. MPs need, therefore, to consider what their staffing needs are during that period.

If the MP is standing down, they should decide what staff they need during the winding-up period prior to the date of the election and consult with their staff so they are aware that their employment will end sometime between the date of the general election and the end of the winding-up period. MPs will be told the required length of notice for each staff member. If all staff are needed to work to the end of the winding-up period, it may be necessary to agree with some staff for them to stay for a longer period than their formal notice period.

As the MP is no longer an officeholder, the roles their staff have are no longer required, and are therefore redundant. As each MP is an individual employer, it is highly unlikely that alternative roles can be found for the staff with that employer. In each of these cases, the MP will therefore have to make their entire team redundant. MPs can be guided through the consultation and other processes by Members’ HR. How much redundancy pay the staff receive will be determined by their contract of employment, length of service with the MP and the statutory rules on redundancy. MPs and staff can look at what their entitlements might be by using the gov.uk redundancy calculator.

MPs must give notice to their staff in a timely manner, partly to avoid uncertainty for the staff and to minimise unnecessary costs to the taxpayer. If an MP is standing down it should be possible to give formal notice to staff on the day after the general election, or even before, once the MP has legally stood down, depending on how the office is being wound up.

If the MP loses their seat and this is unexpected, it may understandably take a little longer for them to decide how they will wind up their office and determine what staff they need during the winding-up period. Once the formal discussions/consultations have taken place about the situation and work requirements during the winding-up period, the MP must give their staff notice of redundancy as soon as practically possible.

In both cases, MPs should give notice as quickly as possible so that PILON costs are not incurred unnecessarily.

There may be occasions where an MP resigns their seat mid-term or the MP dies while in service. In these cases, the MP, or the assigned MP, must still wind up their office and manage the departure of their staff. In each case, it is expected that notice to staff will be given as soon as practically possible.

Staff member standing for parliament

If a member of staff chooses to stand for election to Parliament, any time required to campaign must be requested as either annual leave or unpaid leave.

If the staff member is elected to Parliament, they must start the process of becoming an MP immediately. They must, therefore, give their MP notice to terminate their employment with immediate effect. The MP would normally accept this situation and waive the notice that was due under the contract of employment, and the contract of employment will then end with immediate effect. If the staff member is elected to the seat where their employer is standing down, the staff member would still have to resign their role with immediate effect as they will be unable to work during their notice period.

In either case, the staff member has resigned to become an MP and so they are not being made redundant. Therefore they would not be eligible to receive a severance (redundancy) payment. They will also not be eligible for a payment in lieu of notice as they are not ready and willing to work their notice.

Gardening leave

Gardening leave is not offered to staff at any time.

Notice period calculation

The notice period is whichever is higher between the contractual or statutory notice period (see Notice periods, above).

The MP, as the employer, provides the staff member with a dismissal notice letter which is signed by both. The date this letter is issued is used to determine that the staff member has been made aware on this date that notice has been served.

The first calendar day after this letter is dated is deemed to be the starting point for calculating the notice period.

The period up until the last working day of employment is then calculated based on the number of working days for the staff member.

It is strongly recommended that the MP provides as much notice as possible to allow the staff member to work their notice period and to reduce the cost to the taxpayer. It may not, however, always be possible and in some instances, PILON may need to be paid.

Example:

Dismissal notice letter dated 25 September 2018

Contractual notice period = eight weeks

Staff member’s last working day 31 October 2018 – (staff member is full time and works five working days per week).

Notice period begins 26 September 2018

Five weeks and one day worked from 26 September – 31 October 2018 = 5.20 weeks

8.0 weeks-notice due – 5.20 notice worked = 2.8 weeks’ PILON due to be paid

2.8 weeks count from 1 November 2018 – 27 November 2018

Monthly salary calculated based on working days for this period is then paid to the staff member in their final pay

Last day of employment

The end of a staff members employment is the last day they worked. If they cannot work their entire notice period, they will be paid PILON as outlined above.

The Bullying and Harassment of MPs’ Parliamentary Staff Independent Inquiry Report (the White report) recommended that every departing staff member should be asked to complete a leaver’s survey, followed by an interview where appropriate.

A template exit survey is available for MPs to use when staff leave their employment. Any information gathered will be for the MP, as an employer, to use. IPSA will not collect, store or process any information from the exit survey.

If you decide to ask a staff member to complete an exit survey, this should be done soon after they resign so they have time to complete the survey and so that you have the opportunity to discuss their answers.

Download the sample exit survey.

If former staff or MPs require an employment reference for future employment or for things such as mortgage applications, IPSA will these on request.

To request a reference, please email payroll@theipsa.org.uk. The request will be processed using a set format to ensure it complies with rules relating to references.

In the unfortunate event of the death of a Member, the House of Commons will provide support to their family and staff.

The House of Commons intranet includes guidance on support available to complete the deceased Member’s affairs.

Advice on IPSA-related issues can be found in the Scheme of MPs’ Staffing and Business Costs.

The House of Commons guidance includes:

  • contact with a deceased Member's family and staff

  • pay and expenses

  • personal property of a deceased Member

  • access to a Member's office and belongings

  • what happens to a deceased Member's staff

  • contracts of employment

  • parliamentary network accounts

  • IT equipment

  • data protection

  • pensions

  • by-election

  • Members' Staff & Death in Service Scheme

Visit the House of Commons intranet.

The Scheme does not cover reimbursement of cleaning costs at an MP's accommodation. However, IPSA will pay for professional cleaning costs incurred as a requirement of the lease, if these circumstances apply:

  • the professional cleaning costs are incurred as a specific condition of the lease

  • the cleaning costs are incurred due to the MP leaving the property and terminating the lease

  • the MP incurred the cost on or after 1 April 2019

  • there is a sufficient amount in an MP’s accommodation budget to cover the cost

Supporting evidence showing the condition in the lease and an invoice for the cleaning must be submitted with the claim.

Contact IPSA

To get additional support, contact us.