Bulletin, 23 June 2022 (Guidance on Rail Strikes, Final Budget Positions for 2021-22, IPSA Training Videos, House Services Fair)
Bulletin, 23 June 2022
On Monday we sent an email offering guidance and advice on parliamentary travel during this week's rail strikes. You can find the guidance here, and in the section below. Our phone lines will be closed on Friday 8 July and Tuesday 19 July for training. If you have an urgent query, please email us and state in the subject line that it is urgent. We are pleased to confirm that we will be attending the House Services Fair on 11 and 12 July. Please see below to find out more and book a meeting.
Guidance on Rail Strikes
We know there is some concern about the impact of the planned rail strikes this week, and the difficulty you might face travelling to or from a place of work or event location. If you normally travel by train, we would advise that you should consider carefully whether travel is necessary during this week and whether planned events can be rescheduled, and that you work and hold meetings remotely if at all possible.
Travelling to the office As a reminder, IPSA does not reimburse travel costs for commutes – i.e. journeys between your home and normal place of work (Westminster or the constituency office). However where commuting to an office location is unavoidable, and you incur significant costs as a result (e.g. for a long taxi journey), you may consider applying for contingency funding. Approval will need to be based on the necessity of the journey, the level of cost and the alternatives considered.
Staying overnight Where a staff member is required to travel to their normal place of work but is unable to return home, or it would be unreasonable to return home and then attempt to travel in the following day, we will consider requests for hotel costs, with an explanation of the circumstances and unavoidable nature of the cost. Likewise, where an MP does not have central London accommodation (e.g. an outer London MP), we will consider requests for hotel accommodation to enable them to work from Westminster if this is required. To note, hotel stays where an MP is working late beyond 10pm are claimable, in line with the normal rules. Decisions on exceptional circumstances will be taken on a case-by-case basis, and as always we expect value for money to be a key consideration in decision-making by MPs and staff members. Other parliamentary travel Other journeys for parliamentary work (other than commutes) are claimable, in line with the normal rules of the Scheme. If you would ordinarily travel by train, you should consider what alternatives are available including other public transport. If driving is an option, IPSA will reimburse mileage claims as well as tolls and parking. IPSA will also reimburse costs for travel by taxi where this is the only reasonable means of travel for a particular journey. Where MPs and staff members are travelling away from their normal place of work and it is not possible or practicable to return home (including because of rail cancellations), they can also claim for the cost of a hotel (up to £190 in London and £150 in the rest of the UK) and subsistence costs (up to £25 per night).
Final Budget Positions for 2021-22
We have now completed our year end processes including all movements of costs between budgets and years. You can now view the total spend against your budgets for 2021-22 in IPSA Online. You can view your dashboard by selecting Menu > Information pages > 2021-22 Dashboard. You can find more information here.
IPSA Guidance Videos
As part of our commitment to improve our service, we have created videos to give an overview of some of our most important services, rules and processes. You can find these on our website. The videos are good for new MPs, Proxies or anyone wanting a reminder about what to do and how we can help you to complete your IPSA tasks. Shortly we'll be publishing a myth buster video to address the common misconceptions about MPs pay and business costs. We'll let you know when it is published and hope you will help us to promote the film to address the misunderstandings that impact public trust. Let us know if you have any feedback about the videos.
House Services Fair
We’re pleased to be joining the House of Commons House Services Fair again this year on 11 and 12 July. We support you to manage your staffing and business costs and use IPSA Online and our staff will be available to say hello and answer any queries you may have.
You can book a meeting with one of our trained team members using the booking link below or come along to our stall to meet the team in person. We will have representatives from our account management, payroll and Homes, Offices & Security (HOST) teams who will be able to provide support and guidance. We look forward to seeing you then.