Returned MPs

Overview

This section contains guidance for MPs who are returned to Parliament at the election.

IPSA will continue to support you and your staff as normal.

If you have been elected in a different seat, please visit MPs standing in a different seat.

All guidance contained within the General Election section is subject to change.

Guidance

Following re-election, provided you have taken the Oath your salary will be paid on the last working day of the month as usual.

From the day after Polling Day, you can claim your parliamentary costs as usual, within the Scheme rules.

Your budgets for the full financial year will remain unchanged.

You may find that after the election you wish to make some changes to your office.

We would urge you to read the guidance produced by the House of Commons Members’ HR Service on Office restructure before making any changes.

You may also want to speak to the Members’ HR Advice Service about this, who can be reached on 020 7219 2080 or membershr@parliament.uk.

The House of Commons Members’ HR Service has produced a Best practice recruitment and selection guide to provide practical advice on efficient and effective recruitment practices.

If you have not already done so, if you used your office, office equipment or IT for campaigning activities you must either adjust your claims for rent and utilities or repay the appropriate amount for any rental payments which IPSA pays directly to your landlord.

If you used your IPSA-funded equipment for campaigning activities you must repay the set fee to IPSA no later than 30 days after polling day.

For more information, visit The dissolution period.

Please let IPSA know if any of your staff undertook campaigning activities during their normal working hours, so IPSA can make the necessary adjustments to claims and staff pay.

For more information, visit Booking annual leave and Recording sickness and unpaid leave.

We also advise you to record any TOIL or other leave a staff member takes in the event IPSA queries this at a later date.

If you stood down in your previous seat and won the election in a new seat, you will continue to have a full year’s Office Cost Budget.

However, we understand that you may have additional costs related to closing down your old constituency office.

In addition, although we expect that you will be able to transfer all or most of your furniture and equipment to your new office rather than purchasing new equipment, you may require additional start-up costs.

Due to the impact of the new constituency boundary changes that will take effect at the next election, the IPSA Board has agreed on additional support measures for returned MPs who need to or choose to move their constituency office.

For more information, visit Boundary changes.

When moving into an office in your new constituency, you must register this as usual by submitting a Property Registration Form and cancel your previous office by submitting a Property Amendment Form.

For more information, visit Registering an office or home.

As you will receive your salary without a gap in service, you are not entitled to the winding-up payment.

However, in the event you lose your seat at a future General Election, IPSA will use the total continuous period in Parliament to calculate the loss of office payment.

If you decide to retain your staff, they will keep their continuous service but will not be entitled to redundancy pay. You may want to consider if any contractual changes are required.

For more information, visit Making contractual changes.

Depending on the circumstances, staff members may be entitled to redundancy if their roles change significantly or if their place of work is relocated beyond a reasonable distance.

For more information, visit Boundary changes.

Additionally, if you plan to make changes to your office by hiring new staff, then you may need to make your current staff members’ jobs redundant.

For more information, visit Making your staff redundant.

Where redundancy is the appropriate outcome, staff members with two years of continuous service will be entitled to redundancy pay.

For more information, visit MPs leaving parliament.

We recognise that some offices will be impacted by constituency boundary changes after the next election.

To ensure that IPSA is providing the right level of support to help offices through these changes, the IPSA Board has agreed on the following measures.

Constituency office moves

If an MP is re-elected, but their constituency office falls outside of the new constituency boundary, IPSA will provide a £6,000 start-up supplement to the office costs budget. This is to assist them in setting up a new office and is in line with the uplift provided to newly elected MPs.

If the constituency office still falls within the new boundary, but the MP wishes to move the office to a more suitable location following boundary changes – for example, to be more centrally located or more accessible to constituents – they can make an application for contingency funding up to a maximum of £6,000 to facilitate the move. We will ask for an explanation of the rationale, which the Contingency Panel will consider.

To apply for contingency funding to cover exceptional costs relating to the boundary changes, you must complete and sign an Exceptional Contingency Application Form.

For more information, and to download a copy of the form, visit Boundary changes and contingency funding.

Under the Scheme rules, for a constituency office to be funded by IPSA, it must be within the constituency, or within 20 miles of the boundary. If, after the boundary has changed, MPs need to move office to remain compliant with the Scheme, we will allow a transition period of six months after the election for this to happen.

If you encounter any difficulties with moving or if there is a strong justification to delay moving beyond six months, please speak to your Account Manager.

In all cases where an MP moves their constituency office, they must ensure value for money, and the expectation is that wherever possible they will transfer equipment, furniture, signage, and other items to the new office.

Constituency accommodation

Similarly, under the Scheme rules, constituency accommodation must be within the constituency, or within 20 miles of the boundary, to be funded by IPSA.

If after the boundary has changed an MP needs to move their constituency accommodation to stay compliant with the Scheme, we will allow a transition period of six months after the election for this to happen.

If you encounter any difficulties with moving or if there is a strong justification to delay moving for some time, please speak to your Account Manager.

Additional commuting costs

Staff who continue working for the same MP after the election may have a new work location because of a constituency office move. This may impact travel time and could lead to a more expensive commute.

To support staff through this transition, IPSA will allow claims for the additional costs for commuting that staff incur as a result of an office move – meaning the amount over and above what they were paying to commute to the previous office location – for three months following an office move. This could relate to additional mileage or public transport fares.

The office move needs to take place within six months of the election for the additional commuting costs to be claimed.

Any additional time spent commuting is considered to be personal time and not part of a staff member’s contractual working hours. Claims for additional commuting costs would be taxable, meaning that tax will be deducted when the amount is reimbursed to the staff member.

We will need to make some changes to our systems to facilitate these claims, and we will provide further detailed guidance in due course.

Redundancy as a result of office relocation

Where a staff member’s commute is extended beyond a “reasonable distance” due to an office move, they may be entitled to redundancy.

Redundancies may also arise where other changes, prompted by the boundary changes, are made to a staff member's role.

What is considered to be a “reasonable distance” could relate to additional time and/or cost, is not the same for everyone, and may be based on an individual’s particular circumstances. However, in most cases, an additional 45 minutes on the journey is the benchmark considered in these circumstances.

MPs must seek advice from the Members’ HR Service to confirm whether a possible redundancy situation has arisen and to ensure they follow a legally correct process. IPSA is unable to give employment advice.

It is possible for staff members to agree to stay on, even where the office move extends their commute beyond a “reasonable distance”. However, Members’ HR has said it is advisable for MPs and staff to agree to a trial period of three months so both parties can try out the new arrangements.

As above, the staff member could claim for the additional costs relating to their extended commute during the three months. Either party can decide to end the arrangement during or at the end of that trial period, and the staff member would retain the right to redundancy.

Any right to redundancy pay is calculated when their job was deemed potentially redundant and before any trial period starts.

Not all office moves will result in a possible redundancy situation. If a staff member chooses to leave the MP’s employment for other reasons – for example, to take another job – they will be considered to have resigned and will not be entitled to redundancy. IPSA will only process redundancies that have been confirmed by Members’ HR.

In all cases, staff members must have at least two years’ service with the same MP employer at the point their job is deemed redundant to qualify for a redundancy payment.

Where a returning MP makes a role redundant following the election, the relevant costs will be allocated to the staffing budget as normal under the Scheme rules. However, if the redundancy arose as a direct result of constituency boundary changes (for example due to office relocation), the MP can make an application to move these costs to the contingency budget. We will ask for an explanation of the circumstances and how the redundancy was unavoidable.

We will provide more information and guidance on this in due course.

Continuity of service

Where a staff member remains employed with the same MP after constituency boundary changes and/or office relocation, they will retain continuity of service. They would not receive a redundancy payment, but any future redundancy entitlement would take into account the whole period of their employment with that MP.

However, when a staff member moves to a role with a different MP, they do not retain continuity of service. This is because, legally, each MP is an individual employer, and staff who move from one MP to another are moving from one employer to a new one. Where a role is made redundant, a staff member with two years’ service has a statutory (and contractual) right to a redundancy payment, but accordingly does not retain continuous service when moving to a new employer.

We understand that this is an issue of concern for staff members. Continuous service is a concept set out in employment law, and as such IPSA is unable to ‘grant’ continuous service to staff. We are, however, actively exploring whether there is a way for IPSA to mitigate some of the negative impacts on staff which are due to the legal employment arrangements, for example through contractual terms.

This is a complex area, and we want to understand fully the issues for both employer and employee before proposing any changes. We will, of course, engage with MPs and their staff on proposals before decisions are made.

Based on the constituency boundary changes, we have updated the list of London-area constituencies to reflect the names of the “successor” constituencies to those previously designated as such.

For the purposes of the Scheme, from the day after Polling Day – 5 July 2024 – the London-area constituencies are:

London-area constituencies
Barking Hendon
BatterseaHertford and Stortford
BeaconsfieldHertsmere
Beckenham and PengeHolborn and St Pancras
Bermondsey and Old SouthwarkHornchurch and Upminster
Bethnal Green and StepneyHornsey and Friern Barnet
Bexleyheath and CrayfordIlford North
Brent EastIlford South
Brent WestIslington North
Brentford and IsleworthIslington South and Finsbury
Brentwood and OngarKensington and Bayswater
Bromley and Biggin HillKingston and Surbiton
BroxbourneLewisham East
Carshalton and WallingtonLewisham North
Chelsea and FulhamLewisham West and East Dulwich
Chingford and Woodford GreenLeyton and Wanstead
Chipping BarnetMitcham and Morden
Cities of London and WestminsterOld Bexley and Sidcup
Clapham and Brixton HillOrpington
Croydon EastPeckham
Croydon SouthPoplar and Limehouse
Croydon WestPutney
Dagenham and RainhamQueen's Park and Maida Vale
DartfordReigate
Dorking and HorleyRichmond Park
Dulwich and West NorwoodRomford
Ealing Central and ActonRuislip, Northwood, and Pinner
Ealing NorthRunnymede and Weybridge
Ealing SouthallSevenoaks
East HamSlough
East SurreySouth West Hertfordshire
Edmonton and Winchmore HillSouthgate and Wood Green
Eltham and ChislehurstSpelthorne
Enfield NorthSt Albans
Epping ForestStratford and Bow
Epsom and EwellStreatham and Croydon North
Erith and ThamesmeadSutton and Cheam
Esher and WaltonThurrock
Feltham and HestonTooting
Finchley and Golders GreenTottenham
Greenwich and WoolwichTwickenham
Hackney North and Stoke NewingtonUxbridge and South Ruislip
Hackney South and ShoreditchVauxhall and Camberwell Green
Hammersmith and ChiswickWalthamstow
Hampstead and HighgateWatford
HarlowWelwyn Hatfield
Harrow EastWest Ham and Beckton
Harrow WestWimbledon
Hayes and HarlingtonWindsor

All MPs representing one of the 98 London-area constituencies are eligible for the London-area Living Payment, which is £4,680 for the 2024-25 financial year (pro-rata for new MPs).

Based on the constituency boundary changes, IPSA has updated the list of outer London-area constituencies to reflect the names of the “successor” constituencies to those previously designated as such.

For the purposes of the Scheme, from the day after Polling Day – 5 July 2024 – the outer London-area constituencies are:

Outer London-area constituencies
BeaconsfieldReigate
Brentwood and OngarRunnymede and Weybridge
BroxbourneSevenoaks
DartfordSlough
Dorking and HorleySouth West Hertfordshire
East SurreySpelthorne
Epping ForestSt Albans
Epsom and EwellThurrock
Esher and WaltonWatford
HarlowWelwyn Hatfield
Hertford and StortfordWindsor
Hertsmere

MPs representing one of the 23 outer London constituencies may receive an additional London-area Living Payment of £1,665 (pro-rata for new MPs).

Constituency office moves and start-up costs

If you have been re-elected, but your constituency office falls outside the new constituency boundary, IPSA will provide a £6,000 start-up supplement to your office costs budget.

A list of constituencies eligible for the automatic start-up supplement is included in the table below.

If your constituency office still falls within the new boundary, but you wish to move your office to a more suitable location following boundary changes – for example, to be more centrally located or more accessible to constituents – you can make an application for contingency funding up to a maximum of £6,000 to facilitate the move. We will ask for a brief explanation of why the move is necessary, which the Contingency Panel will consider.

For moves related to boundary changes that have either been approved automatically or through the contingency process, we will allow a transition period of six months after the election for this to happen.

If you encounter any difficulties with moving or if there is a strong justification to delay moving beyond six months, please speak to your Account Manager.

We will only consider applications for contingency related to the boundary changes after the General Election.

For more information, visit Boundary changes.

You can also download a copy of the Boundary changes – Application for Exceptional Contingency Funding Form.

How will this be published?

If you are eligible to receive the £6,000 start-up supplement automatically, it will be added to your office costs budget and published in our annual publication as "an uplift of £6,000 due to constituency boundary changes" in the description of your office costs budget.

The same applies to those who are not automatically eligible for the £6,000 start-up supplement but a contingency application requesting additional funding has been granted by the Panel.

This will also be published as an approved application to contingency in our annual publication. This is to ensure that funding granted by contingency is published in line with the Contingency Panel’s terms of reference.

If your application is approved, a budget uplift will be applied immediately.

If your preference is, however, to wait until year-end to see if the costs can be accommodated into your normal budgets, please specify this in your application and the Panel can give a decision in principle.

If contingency is required at year-end, a budget uplift will be applied, and this will be published as above.

What to consider before submitting an application

  • What are the exceptional circumstances that necessitate your contingency application?

We understand the boundary changes may mean an office move is necessary. You will, therefore, only be expected to provide a brief explanation as to why you are moving.

For example, do the changes in boundaries mean the current office is no longer suitably located for your constituents?

  • Do you know the estimated costs of the move?

You will be asked to provide a list of estimated costs incurred due to the office move if known.

You are also asked to ensure all costs are within the Scheme rules and relate to your parliamentary duties.

  • Have you considered whether the cost represents value for money?

You will be asked to confirm that the costs applied represent value for money. You will also be expected to minimise any overlaps in tenancies and transfer any equipment, furniture, or other items to the new office where possible to reduce the cost to the taxpayer. You will be expected to provide a reason if this is not possible.

You should also consider whether these costs can be met via other sources.

In the event your application to contingency is approved, you will be expected to meet ongoing costs of the new constituency office, such as rent and utilities, from your normal budgets.

If you are struggling to find a suitable office within budget, please contact your HOST Account Manager.

IPSA will not provide additional funding (over and above the maximum of £6,000) to cover the cost of a transition period between offices as MPs are expected to have agreed to a lease break clause with a notice period of two months.

For more information, visit Negotiating a two-month break clause.

Redundancy as a result of office relocation

Where a staff member’s commute is extended beyond a “reasonable distance” due to an office move, they may be entitled to redundancy. Redundancies may also arise where other changes, prompted by the boundary changes, are made to a staff member's role.

What is considered a “reasonable distance” could relate to additional time and/or cost, is not the same for everyone, and may be based on an individual’s particular circumstances.

In most cases, however, an additional 45 minutes on the journey is the benchmark considered in these circumstances.

Where a returning MP makes a role redundant following the election, the relevant costs will be allocated to the staffing budget as normal under the Scheme rules.

If, however, the redundancy arose as a direct result of constituency boundary changes (for example due to office relocation), the MP can make an application to move these costs to the contingency budget.

We will ask for an explanation of the circumstances and how the redundancy was unavoidable.

IPSA will only process redundancies that have been confirmed by Members’ HR.

What to consider before submitting an application to the Contingency Panel for redundancy costs incurred as a result of office relocation

  • Have you spoken to the Members’ HR team at the House of Commons?

You will be expected to have already spoken to Members’ HR about any planned redundancies that relate to the boundary changes before submitting a contingency application.

Members’ HR will provide more advice on, for example, what is considered to be a “reasonable distance” to commute, and if redundancy is required, can provide support in handling this with your staff members.

  • Why have the changes in constituency boundaries necessitated your contingency application?

You will be expected to explain how the redundancy was necessitated by the boundary changes.

If the reason involves an office restructure, you must explain why this is necessary/in the best interests of your constituents and/or parliamentary duties.

You will be able to speak to an Account Manager as usual, by calling 020 7811 6400 or emailing info@theipsa.org.uk, after the election.

We will be busier than usual immediately after the election so you may find our call wait times and response times are longer.

We will do our best to respond to you as quickly as possible.

If you have any concerns about our response times, please email us at feedback@theipsa.org.uk.

Contact IPSA

To get additional support, contact us.