Your staff will continue to receive their salaries as normal during the dissolution period. Please refer to House of Commons guidance on the type of work that can and cannot be carried out during this period.
No changes to staff members’ contractual terms such as pay, hours and place of work may be made from the date the election is called until the end of the winding-up period (if the seat is lost or if you have stood down). However, you are permitted to extend a staff member’s fixed-term contract.
More information is available below.
Staff on non-IPSA contracts can be moved over to an IPSA contract – and we strongly urge you to do this.
Staff members must, however, be employed on the new contract for at least six months before notice of redundancy is issued in order to benefit from the IPSA contract redundancy provisions (in other words, double statutory redundancy).
What changes you can make to a staff member’s contract during dissolution
Staff contracts state that no changes may be made to their terms and conditions of employment from the date a motion is passed confirming an election until the expiry of the winding-up period, unless such a change is required, or required to be considered, by statute.
Therefore, no contractual changes will be permitted until four months after the election. This includes increases and decreases of a staff member’s salary.
Any changes that were requested before the election was called will be actioned as normal.
If you have a staff member on a fixed-term contract which is due to end on the day an election is called or during the dissolution period, then you are permitted to extend this as normal on IPSA Online.
If you wish to make a staff member permanent on the day an election is called or during the dissolution period, then you are permitted to make this change as normal on IPSA Online.
Please remember that in the event that you lose your seat or stand down, all staff members will be made redundant.
Staff members working away from their normal place of work during dissolution
If your staff member is required to work away from their normal place of work during the dissolution period, as this is a temporary arrangement rather than a contractual agreement, you are not permitted to change the staff members’ salary to reflect this.
The staff member is, however, eligible to claim for travel and hotel costs if they are required to work away from their normal place of work (e.g. if they are Westminster-based and are required to work in the constituency).
If your staff member is required to work from home during the dissolution period, as this is a temporary arrangement rather than a contractual agreement, IPSA will not pay the working-from-home allowance. Staff may, however, be able to claim home working costs directly from HMRC.
For more information, visit the HMRC website.
If your staff members take part in campaigning
IPSA-funded staff are unable to undertake any campaigning activities during working hours. There are several options if they do want to help the campaign. They could:
We advise you to record any TOIL (for example, in an Excel spreadsheet) or any other leave a staff member takes in the event this is queried by IPSA at a later date.
Offices are advised to keep a record until the end of the winding-up period in the event the MP loses their seat or stands down as IPSA cannot guarantee payment if the information is lost.
Please be reminded that all employment contracts state that TOIL should be used within three months of accruing it.
For more information, please visit Booking annual leave.
Unpaid leave can be communicated to Payroll in one of two ways:
the staff member can submit an absence request using the "absences" tab under the "your employment" tab on IPSA Online, which will go to the proxy or MP for approval, or
the MP or proxy can record the absence using ‘absence entry’ under the ‘time and expenses’ tab on IPSA Online
For step-by-step guidance on the process, visit Recording sickness and unpaid leave.
Please tell IPSA by the 15th of the month (our normal payroll cut-off) if any of your staff are going to take unpaid leave so IPSA can adjust their pay.
Overtime and reward and recognition payments
Your staff are permitted to submit overtime claims during the dissolution period and, in the event you stand down or lose your seat, during the winding-up period. Please bear in mind that overtime may only be paid for parliamentary work, not for campaigning.
IPSA will accept reward and recognition payments for staff on the day an election is called or during the dissolution period. This is because we recognise that MPs may have planned to make these payments before the election was called. In the event you stand down or lose your seat, no reward and recognition payments will be accepted during the winding-up period.
Making staff members’ jobs redundant
You are permitted to make a staff member’s job redundant during the dissolution period, especially if you plan to stand down at the General Election.
This cost will come from the contingency budget if you plan to stand down and the staffing budget if you decide to stand.
For more information, visit Making your staff members’ jobs redundant.
IPSA will accept new starter forms for contracts starting before and after Polling Day throughout the dissolution period.
However, in the event you lose your seat, all staff members’ jobs will become redundant, and the new starter will not be entitled to redundancy pay.
The normal rules apply with regard to bought-in services costs.
Payments where staffing services are provided by companies, self-employed individuals, and others not on the MP’s payroll, can be funded from either the office costs budget or the staffing budget.
For more information, visit our Evidence requirements.
Bought-in services must not be used for political campaigning purposes and MPs should assure themselves that certain services are necessary for their parliamentary duties during the dissolution period (for example, services to draft press releases and media and communications support in writing to constituents could be seen as giving MPs a campaigning advantage, which is not permitted under the Scheme).
Please ensure you provide an explanation of why costs of this nature were required during the dissolution period when submitting them on IPSA Online.