Overview

Learn the rules on a wide range of pay, tax and benefits topics including employment procedures, budget supplements for carers, conditions for staff payments and the London Area Living Payment.

You can also complete IPSA Online tasks on salary bands, pensions, staff overtime, year-end guidance, and more.

Scheme rules

All staff must be registered with us and have the correct employment status (as defined by HMRC) so that the correct tax and National Insurance contributions are paid. [7.22]

National Insurance contributions

Employer’s National Insurance contributions are paid by IPSA and deducted from your staffing costs budget. Employee National Insurance contributions are deducted from their salaries. [7.23]

Pension scheme payments

IPSA will make employers' pension contributions (equal to 10% of the employee’s salary) on the MP’s behalf for all eligible employees. This is deducted from the staffing costs budget and is made to the MPs’ Staff Pension Scheme. Any employees’ contributions will be deducted from their salaries. [7.24]

Salary sacrifice for employee benefits

Employees can access benefits such as childcare vouchers for staff, cycle-to-work schemes, or other payments through salary sacrifice. The employer’s contribution to this will come out of the staffing costs budget, and payment will be administered by IPSA once arrangements are made. [7.25]

The staffing costs budget can be used for:

  • staff salaries, employers' contributions to National Insurance and employers' contributions to pension schemes

  • salaries to cover for staff on leave

  • pay in lieu of notice or untaken leave

  • payments for pooled staffing services, which provide research, briefing and drafting services to groups of MPs and that have an arrangement with IPSA in place

  • payments for bought-in services, where staffing services are provided by companies, self-employed individuals and others not on the MP’s payroll

  • overtime payments, to the extent that these are specified in staff terms and conditions

  • payments for childcare vouchers for staff, cycle-to-work schemes, or other payments by way of salary sacrifice

  • reward and recognition payments, except where the employee is a connected party

  • one-off health and welfare costs associated with provision of staffing support, such as eyesight tests and occupational health assessments

  • costs associated with apprenticeships that meet the standards of the National Apprenticeship Service

  • incidental expenses of volunteers

  • staff training costs

[7.4]

The annual staffing costs budget is:

  • London area MP –  £190,750  [7.12]

  • non-London Area MP – £179,330 [7.13]

To respond to a rise in workload for their offices as a result of coronavirus, MPs may request an increase to their staffing budget for 2021-22, up to a maximum of £27,680 for London Area MPs and £24,970 for non-London Area MPs.

For more information on coronavirus, visit our Coronavirus FAQs.

MPs can decide how best to meet the additional demand faced by their office, and could use the additional funding to take on new staff on a fixed-term basis, or to increase the contractual hours or overtime payments in respect of existing staff. Use of the additional funding is subject to the normal staffing budget rules set out in the main Scheme.

To request additional funding, MPs must submit the relevant document, accompanied by a statement that the additional funding is needed as a direct result of coronavirus-related demand.

Relevant documents include:

When setting pay for staff, MPs should check the relevant IPSA guidance.

For more information, visit MP staff salary bands.

If you need HR advice on matters such as recruitment, redundancy, and employment law – contact the House of Commons HR Advice Service. [7.5]

Staff employed after 7 May 2010

These MP’s staff will only be paid if the following conditions are met:

  • the staff member’s role complies with a job description(s) published by IPSA

  • the staff member’s salary is within the relevant range published by IPSA

  • a contract of employment that complies with the model contract of employment, published from time to time by IPSA, has been signed by the relevant parties [7.5]

Staff employed before 7 May 2010

As long as the staff remain employed by the same MP, they can stay on job descriptions, salaries and contracts that do not conform to the conditions above. [7.6]

Once the relevant conditions have been fulfilled (or we’re satisfied they will be), we will pay the salaries, effective from the start of their employment. [7.7]

Apprentices

Apprentices do not need to meet the staff employment conditions in order to be paid by IPSA. Instead, we will pay their salaries so long as their employment terms meet the standards of the National Apprenticeship Scheme. [7.9]

Employed interns

Employed interns do not need to meet the staff employment conditions in order to be paid by IPSA. Instead, interns engaged by an MP after 7 May 2010 will be paid by us provided their employment terms comply with the requirements of National Minimum Wage legislation. [7.10]

Note, the salary range for interns makes sure that they’re at least paid the National Minimum Wage.

MPs cannot employ any new staff who are connected parties. This has been the case since 9 June 2017.

If MPs were already employing a connected party before 9 June 2017, they can continue to do so, subject to the general rules about connected parties. However, MPs can only claim for one employee’s salary who is a connected party.

A small number of MPs may be employing more than one connected party – this is only possible if they were doing so before 7 May 2010. If you were already employing more than one connected party on 7 May 2010, you may continue to claim for their salaries. [7.8]

For more information, visit Partners, family & business interest (connected parties) claims.

The LALP is claimable by MPs for London area constituencies, the London Area Living Payment (LALP) contributes toward the higher cost of living in London. It is not for MPs who reside in the area by virtue of a grace and favour accommodation. [5.1], [5.2], [5.6]

On top of this sum, if the constituency is also listed as being in the Outer London Area an additional LALP can be claimed. Bear in mind that such outer London MPs are still subject to all the London Area rules. [5.5]

The LALP budget is:

  • LALP – £4,140  [5.4]

  • additional outer-London LALP – £1,470 [5.5]

Here’s how to claim it

The LALP is claimed monthly, starting from the month they’re first notified to us. [5.3]

We will pay the LALP and any additional LALP for the current month in full if you apply before the monthly payroll deadline (usually the 15th of the month but earlier if that falls on a bank holiday or weekend). After that, it will not be paid until the following month. [5.5]

For more information, visit London area constituencies and London area constituencies eligible for “additional LALP”.

MPs may pay their staff (but not connected parties) extra as a reward for their performance.

In total reward and recognition payments should be no more than 2% of the annual staffing costs budget, and no individual may receive more than £1,000 per year (not including on-costs).

Be careful, as if you exceed these amounts you’ll have to fund the surplus from your own resources. Claims for these additional sums will not be processed by IPSA. [7.11]

For more information on rewarding and recognising staff using IPSA Online visit Rewarding & recognising your team.

MPs with caring responsibilities may claim an additional £5,500 per year for each dependant that needs accommodation, up to a maximum of three. [4.16]

If you would like to claim the dependants budget supplement, you must first register the dependants with us using the form on IPSA Online. [4.22]

For more information, visit Registering a dependant.

As part of the regular review of the Scheme, IPSA may provide additional funds to MPs’ staffing budget to facilitate a percentage annual increase to the salaries of staff members.

Such annual increases will be applied automatically, except where a member of staff has been opted out of this arrangement.

The amount of this increase will be determined by IPSA and communicated to MPs and their staff ahead of the start of the financial year. [7.20]

If an MP wishes to opt-out of the automatic application of the annual salary increase for one or more of their staff members the MP must notify IPSA by the deadline communicated by IPSA in guidance. [7.21]

An increase to the staffing budget or to staff salaries is not guaranteed every year. This will be determined by IPSA ahead of each financial year.

MPs should ensure they are following good employment practice where they opt out of the annual increase for a staff member.

For more information visit Automatic annual salary increases for MPs’ staff.

The information below outlines the pay ranges for 2020-21 for an MP's Staff within the London area.

Job role: Administrative

Annual minimum: £22,402

Annual maximum: £30,882

Job role: Administrative 2 (senior secretary)

Annual minimum: £26,251

Annual maximum: £36,936

Job role: Administrative 3 (office manager)

Annual minimum: £33,759

Annual maximum: £48,360

Job role: Executive 1 (caseworker)

Annual minimum: £24,000

Annual maximum: £35,002

Job role: Executive 2 (senior caseworker)

Annual minimum: £32,000

Annual maximum: £42,046

Job role: Research 2 (parliamentary assistant)

Annual minimum: £25,500

Annual maximum: £35,308

Job role: Research 3 (senior parliamentary assistant)

Annual minimum: £36,575

Annual maximum: £51,207

Job role: Employed Interns

Annual minimum: £15,990

Annual maximum: £20,962.50

The information below outlines the pay ranges for 2020-21 for an MP's Staff outside the London area.

Job role: Administrative 1 (secretary)

Annual minimum: £18,391

Annual maximum: £26,243

Job role: Administrative 2 (senior secretary)

Annual minimum: £23,397

Annual maximum: £32,750

Job role: Administrative 3 (office manager)

Annual minimum: £30,000

Annual maximum: £45,552

Job role: Executive 1 (caseworker)

Annual minimum: £21,529

Annual maximum: £31,705

Job role: Executive 2 (senior caseworker)

Annual minimum: £28,311

Annual maximum: £39,981

Job role: Research 2 (parliamentary assistant)

Annual minimum: £23,839

Annual maximum: £33,068

Job role: Research 3 (senior parliamentary assistant)

Annual minimum: £32,811

Annual maximum: £45,000

Job role: Employed Interns

Annual minimum: £15,990

Annual maximum: £20,962.50

The information below outlines the pay ranges for 2021-22 for an MP's Staff within the London area.

Job role: Administrative

Annual minimum: £22,402

Annual maximum: £31,191

Job role: Administrative 2 (senior secretary)

Annual minimum: £26,251

Annual maximum: £37,305

Job role: Administrative 3 (office manager)

Annual minimum: £33,759

Annual maximum: £48,844

Job role: Executive 1 (caseworker)

Annual minimum: £24,000

Annual maximum: £35,352

Job role: Executive 2 (senior caseworker)

Annual minimum: £32,000

Annual maximum: £42,466

Job role: Research 2 (parliamentary assistant)

Annual minimum: £25,500

Annual maximum: £36,374

Job role: Research 3 (senior parliamentary assistant)

Annual minimum: £36,575

Annual maximum: £52,067

Job role: Employed Interns

Annual minimum: £ 16,302

Annual maximum: £21,172

The pay ranges are designed to ensure MPs have the option of paying all staff the voluntary Living Wage, also known as the Real Living Wage (as determined by the Living Wage Foundation).

Where the voluntary Living Wage is adjusted such that it exceeds the maximum of any published pay range, IPSA will treat the voluntary Living Wage as the new maximum for the remainder of the financial year.

The information below outlines the pay ranges for 2021-22 for an MP's Staff outside the London area.

Job role: Administrative 1 (secretary)

Annual minimum: £18,525

Annual maximum: £26,505

Job role: Administrative 2 (senior secretary)

Annual minimum: £23,397

Annual maximum: £33,078

Job role: Administrative 3 (office manager)

Annual minimum: £30,000

Annual maximum: £46,008

Job role: Executive 1 (caseworker)

Annual minimum: £21,529

Annual maximum: £32,022

Job role: Executive 2 (senior caseworker)

Annual minimum: £28,311

Annual maximum: £40,381

Job role: Research 2 (parliamentary assistant)

Annual minimum: £23,839

Annual maximum: £33,399

Job role: Research 3 (senior parliamentary assistant)

Annual minimum: £32,811

Annual maximum: £45,884

Job role: Employed Interns

Annual minimum: £16,302

Annual maximum: £21,172

The pay ranges are designed to ensure MPs have the option of paying all staff the voluntary Living Wage, also known as the Real Living Wage (as determined by the Living Wage Foundation).

Where the voluntary Living Wage is adjusted such that it exceeds the maximum of any published pay range, IPSA will treat the voluntary Living Wage as the new maximum for the remainder of the financial year.

MPs who engage volunteers must sign an arrangement with the volunteer and submit it to IPSA before claiming for incidental expenses. The arrangement must comply with the model volunteer arrangement published by us.

Incidental expenses are limited to reasonable travel and food, and non-alcoholic drinks. [7.27]

Volunteers are not required to carry out specific duties for MPs and are assisting them with their duties on a voluntary basis.

Should the nature of the volunteer’s work change so they would be classified as an employed intern, the MP must contact IPSA and provide the individual with a contract of employment, subject to National Minimum Wage legislation. [7.28]

You must notify us when the arrangement comes to an end. [7.29]

Download the Model Volunteer Arrangement Form.

Using IPSA Online

Your payslips are all available on IPSA Online. These can be found in your personal documents archive.

  1. Note!

    Before you begin, open IPSA Online.

  2. Step1

    On the menu, select Your employment.

  3. Step2

    Select My information and payslips.

  4. Step3

    Select the Paperclip icon in the top right corner of the page.

  5. Step4

    Open the PDF document for the payslip you wish to view. Payslips are categorised by financial year (month one is April and month 12 is March).

  6. Step5

    You can filter to only see payslips by selecting the Filter by document type drop-down menu in top right-hand corner of the Documents screen and then selecting Payslip.

P60s are available on IPSA Online. These can be found in your personal documents archive.

Your P60 shows the taxable salary you've been paid and the tax you’ve paid on your salary in the tax year (6 April to 5 April).

It does not include pension deductions or Members' fund deductions as these are non-taxable.

P60s will be available to all employees by 31 May.

  1. Note!

    Before you begin, open IPSA Online.

  2. Step1

    On the menu, select Your employment.

  3. Step2

    Select My information and payslips.

  4. Step3

    Select the Paperclip icon in the top right corner of the page.

  5. Step4

    Open the PDF document for the P60 you wish to view.

If you want to update your bank details for your salary online, it must be done by the 15th of the month for the changes to take effect on your next payday.

If you have a separate bank account for MP expenses, changes to this must be made via the Bank Details for Expenses Form.

  1. Note!

    To update your bank account details, open IPSA Online.

  2. Step1

    Select the Main menu tab.

  3. Step2

    Select the Your employment tab on the left-hand side.

  4. Step3

    Select My information and payslips from the menu.

  5. Step4

    Select the Payment information tab.

  6. Step5

    Update the Account No and Sort Code fields.

  7. Step6

    Select Save in the bottom left hand-corner to complete your changes.

If you have a separate bank account for MP expenses and you need to update any details, this must be done by using the Bank Details for Expenses Form.

  1. Note!

    To update your bank account details, open IPSA Online.

  2. Step1

    Select the Main menu tab.

  3. Step2

    Select the Forms tab on the left of the screen.

  4. Step3

    Select Bank details for expenses from the menu.

  5. Step4

    Add a description for the form:

    Name of form / Who it relates to / Date the form was submitted.

  6. Step5

    Select the Bank account for expenses tab on the form.

  7. Step6

    Complete all mandatory fields with your bank details (removing any dashes).

  8. Step7

    Select the Remittance address tab and complete all the mandatory fields.

  9. Step8

    Select Submit form.

MPs and staff are eligible to apply for season ticket loans which are repaid monthly through their pay.

  1. Note!

    To apply for a season ticket loan, open IPSA Online.

  2. Step1

    Select the Main menu tab.

  3. Step2

    Select the Forms tab on the left of the screen.

  4. Step3

    On the menu, select the Season Ticket Request Form form.

  5. Step4

    Add a description for the form in the Form description.

  6. Step5

    Type in the total Cost of ticket.

  7. Step6

    Type in the amount of Advance required.

  8. Step7

    Select the icon to select the Period from and Period to dates.

  9. Step8

    Fill in the Period of repayment in months (for example, repay over 12 months).

  10. Step9

    Complete the Journey from and Journey to fields.

  11. Step10

    Read the Terms & Conditions and Employee’s authorisation (if applicable) carefully.

  12. Step11

    Select Submit form.

MPs and staff are eligible to apply for bike loans which are repaid monthly through their pay.

  1. Note!

    To apply for a bike loan, open IPSA Online.

  2. Step1

    Select the Main menu tab.

  3. Step2

    Select the Forms tab on the left of the screen.

  4. Step3

    Select the Bike Loan form form in the menu.

  5. Step4

    Add a description for the form in the Form description.

  6. Step5

    Type in the Cost of bicycle.

  7. Step6

    Type in the amount of Amount of loan required.

  8. Step7

    Read the Terms & Conditions and Employee’s authorisation (if applicable) carefully.

  9. Step8

    Select Submit form.

Timesheets are completed within IPSA Online. Once submitted they automatically generate an alert in Task Manager asking your MP or Payroll Proxy to approve them.

If a Proxy is completing the timesheet on behalf of the staff member, this will go to the MP to approve.

  1. Note!

    To complete and submit a timesheet, open IPSA Online.

  2. Step1

    Select the Main menu tab.

  3. Step2

    Select the Forms tab on the left-hand side.

  4. Step3

    Select the MP Staff Overtime Form from the menu.

  5. Step4

    Add a Form description following the naming convention: Name and week-ending date.

  6. Step5

    If a proxy is completing the form, In the Resource details box, use the Form for field.

    To select the name of the staff member click within the box, press the space bar to show a list of staff members and select the relevant name from the dropdown.

  7. Step6

    To select a Position, click within the box, press the space bar and select the relevant position from the dropdown.

  8. Step7

    Select the Calendar icon to choose a week-ending date (this should be a Sunday).

  9. Step8

    Select the Add button.

  10. Step9

    Select the Rate field and press the space bar. A list of rates appears, select the relevant rate.

  11. Step10

    The Rates are:

    • Additional hours – for part-time staff for hours claimed up to their full-time equivalent. Hours over full-time equivalent should be claimed as Overtime @ 1.5.

    • Overtime @ 1.5 – for full-time staff or for part-time staff claiming above their full-time equivalent.

    • Regular time – for casual staff.

    • For part-time staff claiming above full-time equivalent, add two rows to the form – one for Additional hours and one for Overtime @ 1.5.

    Only one form should be added per week unless a part-time member of staff works more than a full-time equivalent.

  12. Step11

    Type the relevant extra hours into the correct days. Use the Tab key to navigate through the days and enter 0.00 hours for days not containing an overtime amount.

  13. Step12

    Select Submit form.

  14. Step13

    Select OK.

When a member of staff submits a timesheet, a task will automatically be generated in the system and sent to the MP or Payroll Proxy.

If a Proxy is submitting on behalf of a staff member, the approval will go to the MP. This alert can be used to navigate directly to the approval screen.

From there you can view the timesheet and approve or reject it.

  1. Note!

    To approve or reject a timesheet, open IPSA Online.

  2. Step1

    Select the Alerts icon in the top right of the screen.

  3. Step2

    Select the relevant alert.

  4. Step3

    Check the details of the overtime claim carefully to make sure you agree with it.

  5. Step4

    Select Approve to approve the claim.

  6. Step5

    To reject the overtime claim add a comment in the Enter a comment field about why you are rejecting the claim and select the Reject button.

The Scheme of MPs’ Staffing and Business Costs [paragraphs 7.4f and 7.11] allows for 2% of the staffing costs budget to be used for reward and recognition during the year with a cap of £1,000 per employee per year.

MPs’ will be personally liable if a reward and recognition payment exceeds the specified amounts.

  1. Note!

    To process a reward and recognition payment, open IPSA Online.

  2. Step1

    Select the Main menu tab.

  3. Step2

    Select the Forms tab on the left-hand side.

  4. Step3

    Select Reward and Recognition Form from the menu.

  5. Step4

    Fill in the Form description field. You do not have to complete the Form ID field.

  6. Step5

    Using the drop-down menu select the staff member you wish to reward.

  7. Step6

    Type in the Cash reward amount (making sure it follows Scheme rules).

  8. Step7

    In the Additional comments box, briefly describe why the staff member is receiving the award.

  9. Step8

    Read the Declarationcarefully and make sure you have adhered to it.

  10. Step9

    Select Submit form.

You can check the status of any type of form you have submitted to Payroll by using IPSA Online.

  1. Note!

    Open IPSA Online.

  2. Step1

    On the Main menu navigate to the Forms section on the left-hand side of the screen.

    Select the type of form you would like to check from the list displayed.

  3. Step2

    Under the heading: Form ID – Please leave set as [NEW] and the system will generate a new ID.

  4. Step3

    Select the drop-down menu on the right, and choose Value lookup.

  5. Step4

    A pop-up will appear. Select Search.

  6. Step5

    Scroll down and select the form number from the list under Attribute value.

    From here you can view the progress of the form you have submitted.

Downloads

Guidance

IPSA will automatically apply an annual increase to all staff members’ salaries – unless they have been opted-out by their employing MP. This arrangement is effective from the 2021-22 financial year.

Changes to the payroll will be made in May, and the increase will be backdated to the start of April. In other words, staff members will see the additional salary amount for April and May in their May salary payment.

The percentage increase to be applied will be determined by the IPSA Board ahead of each new financial year. In doing so, they will take account of a range of factors, including:

  • changes in the cost of living

  • guidance that applies elsewhere in the public sector

  • affordability

  • value for money for the taxpayer

This arrangement does not prevent an MP from providing a higher increase for their staff, so long as it remains within the relevant salary range for that job role (set out in the Scheme) and is affordable in their overall staffing budget.

They should follow the normal process, using the Contractual Changes form on IPSA Online.

Which staff are included?

The arrangements apply from the 2021-22 financial year to all staff who are on the IPSA payroll on 31 March of the previous financial year, unless they have been opted-out (see below).

MPs should be aware this potentially includes staff who have very recently joined and therefore should consider whether a pay increase is appropriate in all cases.

Individuals contracted as bought-in services who are not on IPSA payroll would not receive an automatic pay increase. Any increase in the fees charged would need to be agreed between the MP and the individual providing the services.

How can MPs opt-out of the arrangements?

MPs are encouraged to provide annual increases to their staff where appropriate, as part of ensuring they are paid fairly and have an experience similar to staff employed in public bodies or in other similar roles. However, MPs will retain an opt-out from the automatic arrangements. This is because there are some circumstances where awarding a pay increase may not be appropriate. For example, where staff members are on probation or where there is a live disciplinary issue.

Where MPs exercise an opt-out, they should ensure that they are adhering to good employment practice and treating their staff fairly. MPs are strongly encouraged to seek advice from the House of Commons Members’ HR team on when opting out might be appropriate.

To opt-out, MPs (or their payroll proxies) need to email payroll@theipsa.org.uk by 30 April, clearly stating the relevant staff member’s name.

Where an MP has exercised an opt-out for a particular staff member, they may at a later date request a pay increase for that staff member in the normal way (using the Contractual Changes form on IPSA Online).

Please note the following list is not exhaustive.

Can I purchase bikes from other organisations besides Halfords?

Yes! You can also shop at www.tredz.co.uk by using your LOC number in the checkout process and www.E-bikesdirect.co.uk by browsing online and then calling us on 0345 504 6444 or emailing cycle2.work@halfords.co.uk to place an order.

You can also shop with more than 800 independent bike shops that accept our Letters of Collection. Visit the Store Locator to see your local options.

How do I apply for the scheme?

Please visit the Cycle2Work website and select "Employee Sign Up".

What is IPSA’s employer code?

IPSAC2W.

Which email should I use to register with the scheme?

You can use any address, work or personal.

How long do I have to apply for the scheme?

The scheme operates all year – you can apply at any time.

How long will recoveries be made from my salary?

Twelve months.

How much will I save in tax and National Insurance contributions by joining the scheme?

Please refer to the Cycle2Work Savings Calculator.

Can I select more than one bike?

The legislation does not prohibit the selection of two bicycles providing that both are used for commuting to work.

What if I don’t use the bike every day to get to work?

It's OK to use the cycle to work scheme for a bike that you use "when practical" to get to work.

What if I don’t use it for my entire journey?

It is also OK to use the bike for part of a journey to work, for example, to get to the station.

There is no requirement for the cycle to be your main form of transport, or even a regular form of transport, to get to work. The only requirement is that the main use of the bike should be for home to work travel.

What if I also use the bike for other journeys?

You are welcome to use your Cycle2Work bike at any time for recreational use.

Do I have to keep records of when I use the bike to get to work?

No. There is no requirement to keep records.

What is a Letter of Collection (LoC)?

LoC stands for Letter of Collection of which you exchange for your chosen bike.

When can I collect my bike?

As soon as you receive your LoC you can go and collect your bike. The LoC will be emailed to you within two weeks of signing up.

What equipment is available?

Cycles and cyclist’s safety equipment are included. The tax exemption defines a “cycle” as “a bicycle, a tricycle or a cycle having four or more wheels, not being, in any case, a motor vehicle” (section 192(1) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (c52.)). An electrically assisted pedal cycle can be included under the scheme.

Cyclists’ safety equipment is not defined in the legislation and a common-sense approach should be taken when selecting it. This could include:

  • cycle helmets which conform to European standard EN 1078

  • bells

  • bulb horns

  • lights including dynamo pack

  • mirrors and mudguards to ensure the rider's visibility is not impaired

  • cycle clips and dress guards

  • panniers, luggage carriers and straps to ensure luggage is carried safely

  • locks and chains to ensure the cycle can be safely secured

  • pumps, puncture repair kits, tool kits and tyre sealant to allow for minor repairs

  • reflective clothing, white front reflectors and spoke reflectors

  • child seats

Accessories that are not available include:

  • forks

  • frames

  • sat navs

  • cycle computers

  • Gro Pro computers

  • turbo trainers

  • cycle racks

Items such as frames and forks are cycle components not safety equipment. Safety equipment is something you add to the bicycle or the cyclist to make cycling safer.

More details can be found in the HMRC guidance.

Is any care plan included?

Yes, you will receive a free one-year bike care plan on all bikes. This includes an annual Silver service at the end of the plan and fitting on all parts and accessories bought from Halfords.

What happens if I do not use the bike for commuting after I have joined the scheme?

You will no longer qualify for the tax relief afforded to this benefit. In such circumstances, you should contact the IPSA payroll department who will arrange for the remaining salary reductions to be taken from your net pay, for example after tax and National Insurance have been deducted.

You cannot return the cycle and have your salary readjusted.

I’ve only been employed as a member of staff for a short time or am a casual member of staff. Can I take part?

Yes, however, you may be given alternate options to the salary sacrifice scheme. Please apply in the usual way.

Can I take part in more than one scheme?

No, you can only apply for another cycle when your 12-month hire period has finished.

Who owns the equipment?

The legislation that governs a cycle to work scheme states that IPSA must own the equipment. There can be no automatic right for you to own the equipment at the end of the agreement. If you do, there cannot be a claim for tax exemption. Therefore, a cycle-to-work scheme operates as a loan. IPSA is technically lending the equipment to you for a fixed period of time. Although you do not actually own the equipment, you remain the custodian of the equipment and are free to use it as you wish, providing it is mainly for cycling to work.

What is the maximum value of equipment I can obtain through Cycle2Work? / What is a Group Consumer Credit License?

The Financial Conduct Authority has issued a Group Consumer Credit License allowing any employer to run a Cycle2Work scheme. The license allows you to hire equipment up to the value of £2,500 inclusive of VAT.

What if I am over state retirement age?

You will benefit from tax savings but not from any savings in National Insurance. Your employer will still save employer’s National Insurance.

Can I get a change from an LoC if I don’t use it all?

No. You need to choose an LoC to the nearest £1 above the value of the bike and related equipment that you want to collect.

Can I participate if I am under 18?

Yes, however, a guarantor form would need to be completed by your employer.

Is this a hire purchase agreement?

No. the bike is provided to you as a benefit under a salary sacrifice scheme. This means that you agree to a reduction in your salary and IPSA provides you with a bike for use to get to work.

Can I join if I am on the National Minimum Wage (NMW)?

Yes, however, you will be given alternate options to the salary sacrifice scheme. Please apply in the usual way.

What if I leave my employment or am made redundant?

If you leave before the end of the agreed repayment period, you must pay IPSA the balance of the amount still to pay and this will be deducted automatically from your final net pay. If your final salary does not cover the final balance owed, IPSA will write to you for the outstanding sum.

You may then have continued use of the equipment without further payment until the agreed repayment period expires, when you may be offered the opportunity to purchase the equipment for its fair market value. However, this transfer of ownership is subject to a separate agreement and is not governed or influenced by the original agreement you signed as part of the scheme.

What if I already have another salary sacrifice benefit, childcare vouchers for example?

Being part of more than one salary sacrifice scheme is not an issue as long as the total amounts of the schemes do not take your salary below the National Minimum Wage. If your other scheme(s), for example, Childcare vouchers, leave you above the National Minimum Wage, you can only salary sacrifice to the point where your gross salary remained at least the National Minimum Wage.

What if my bike gets a fault, is accidentally damaged or stolen?

You will receive a warranty with your bike, the length of this warranty is generally dependent on the brand. The responsibility for loss, damage, theft, roadworthiness and repair is yours for the duration of the scheme.

It is recommended that you obtain separate insurance, or check your bike is covered under your home contents insurance policy. If your home contents insurer covers the bike, you must inform them that IPSA owns the bike. Payments will not stop or be suspended due to loss or damage to the bike.

Can I use the scheme to obtain a bike for someone else?

No. it must be for you to use for at least part of your journey to work. However, if you participate in the scheme you will receive a 20% off the entire Apollo bike range for your family members.

Can I add my own money to the LoC value to get a more expensive bike?

No. You cannot “top up” or add to your LoC using your own funds because you don’t own the bike during the term and this would cause issues at the end of the hire period.

Why doesn’t my agreement show my actual savings?

The gross payment is the value before tax and National Insurance has been taken and is stated on your agreement and each of your payslips. The net payment is the true cost after your tax and National Insurance savings and varies from person to person. Your agreement will state a gross value as this will not change based on personal tax circumstances.

What happens at the end of the scheme?

When your Cycle2Work hire finishes, Halfords will be in touch with you to discuss your options relating to the “transfer of ownership”.

Will a salary sacrifice affect my entitlement to benefits?

Possibly, although in most cases the effect is likely to be small. However, you need to be aware of the implications of paying less National Insurance contributions and accepting a reduced salary. For a small number of employees, a cycle to work scheme might not be appropriate. There may be an impact on:

  • Entitlement to contribution-based benefits like the state pension, statutory sick pay, statutory paternity pay, statutory adoption pay, jobseeker’s allowance, incapacity benefit, widowed parents allowance, bereavement allowance and bereavement payment. This is particularly likely if your salary after taking a salary sacrifice falls below the Lower Earnings Limit.

  • Entitlement to earnings-related benefits like maternity allowance, the state second pension and statutory maternity pay, which are based on the actual gross pay you receive.

If you would like a fuller explanation of the effects of salary sacrifice on benefit entitlement, please contact HMRC.

What if I change my mind after I’ve collected the bike?

Once your LoC has been issued – you have a 14 day "cooling off" period in which you are able to cancel the agreement.

Is Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) affected?

SMP might very well be affected. SMP is based on the actual pay you receive and not your basic salary before any salary sacrifice. Therefore, if you choose to reduce your salary to benefit from cycle to work, the salary on which SMP is based would be reduced.

However, if you qualify for occupational maternity pay, based on your length of service, this is calculated using your basic salary and would not be affected by this scheme.

What about other statutory entitlements?

If these are based on actual and not basic salary, these may also be affected.

If I get any type of tax credits, are these affected?

You will need to check your individual circumstances at the time. As your salary will be reduced, your entitlement to tax credits may increase.

Will Salary Sacrifice have any impact on my Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission payments/Child Support Agency payments?

Child maintenance payments to the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission are broadly calculated by reference to your net income, for example, your pay after the deduction tax and National Insurance contributions. The value of any bicycle benefits provided under salary sacrifice is not included in this calculation.

More information can be found at Manage your Child Maintenance Service case.

Contacts

Glasses and eye tests for display screen users (Scheme 7.4g)

MPs can claim for an eye test from the office cost budget. They can also use the office cost budget to claim for glasses for themselves if an eye test shows they are needed specifically for display screen use.

As employers MPs must arrange an eye test for staff who use display screen equipment if they ask for one. They must also provide glasses if a test shows an employee needs them specifically for display screen use.

The staffing cost budget can be used for staff eye tests and glasses in these circumstances.

The Health and Safety Executive has provided guidance on working safely with display screen equipment, as well as additional guidance on the regulations impacting employers.

For more information on claiming this cost, visit Making reimbursement claims.

If you have questions about glasses or eye tests, please contact MP Support.

Cycle2work (Scheme 7.4e)

Information on this scheme can be found at Cycle2Work.

Season ticket loan

MPs’ Staff can apply for an interest-free season ticket loan, which must be used to purchase an annual season ticket at a cost equal to or greater than the loan advanced.

The following terms and conditions apply:

  • the loan must be recovered by salary deduction over a maximum of 12 months

  • a loan will not be advanced while any part of a previous season ticket loan remains

  • the ticket must be for bona fide travel to and from work

  • IPSA reserves the right to request proof of purchase

  • MPs’ staff must have completed probation

Use IPSA Online to apply for a Season ticket loan. For help, visit Applying for a season ticket loan.

Bicycle loan

MPs and their staff can apply for an interest-free bicycle loan, which must be used to purchase a bicycle at a cost equal to or greater than the loan advanced.

The following terms and conditions apply:

  • the loan must be recovered by salary deduction over a maximum of 12 months

  • a loan will not be advanced while any part of a previous bicycle loan remains

  • the bicycle must be for bona fide travel to and from work/station

  • IPSA reserves the right to request proof of purchase

  • MPs’ staff must have completed probation

Use IPSA Online to apply for a bike loan. For help, visit Applying for a bike loan.

Give As You Earn (GAYE)

The Give As You Earn scheme, run by the Charities Aid Foundation, enables you to:

  • schedule regular donations to one or multiple charities from a range of more than 160,000 organisations

  • respond quickly to campaigns or appeals

  • make one-off donations at any time

  • sponsor friends and family

You can donate as much as you like each month, subject to a minimum of £4 and whole pound increments. Donations made will be added to your online account on or around payday.

You can take part in the scheme by using the unique sign-up link.

You will be sent a welcome email with instructions on how to set up and manage your account.

If you have any issues accessing your online account, or have any queries about the scheme, you can contact the Charities Aid Foundation on 03000 123 000, or by email to giveasyouearn@cafonline.org.

If you are an MP and have a query about your pension, please contact the House of Commons by email to pensionsmp@parliament.uk, or by calling 020 7219 2106.

The MPs' pension scheme, called the Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund (PCFC), is the pension scheme for MPs. The Fund is made up of two schemes – the  MPs' Pension Scheme and also a scheme for Ministers called the Ministerial Pension Scheme.

For further information, visit the PCPF website.

You can also read more about the PCFC on the House of Commons website.

Legal and General are the current pension provider for the MPs’ Staff Pension Scheme.

MPs’ Staff are automatically enrolled into the pension scheme when they start their employment.

Legal and General will write to a member of staff confirming this within six weeks of starting. At this point, they have the option to opt out of the scheme.

It is a non-contributory pension scheme, which means it is not compulsory for a member of staff to make any contributions. The employer contributes 10% of a member of staff’s salary into their pension pot.

Should a member of staff want to make voluntary pension contributions, please complete the Change of Voluntary Contributions Form and email it to IPSA at payroll@theipsa.org.uk.

MPs’ Staff can find out more about the scheme by either calling Legal and General on 0345 070 8686 (pin 43) or by visiting their pension scheme website where they can view their Member Booklet and Investment information.

These documents contain important information. Please read them carefully before deciding how to proceed.

Manage your account

When Legal and General confirms the details of the scheme in writing they will also supply a unique member number. IPSA strongly recommends they register online using the "Manage My Account" function on the pension scheme website.

It is a member of staff’s responsibility to update their personal details – including things like name and home address – as and when required by Legal and General.

By registering online using the Manage My Account function, MPs’ Staff will be able to change these at any point.

Manage Your Account gives MPs’ Staff access to their pension and savings information whenever they want. It offers:

  • Flexibility – MPs’ Staff can monitor their pension plan and follow investment performance.

  • Opportunities – to view and change where money is invested so a member of staff can make sure it’s working hard for them.

  • Choices – MPs’ Staff can request benefit and unit statements and explore their investment options.

  • Education – MPs’ Staff can look at fact sheets about current and potential funds so they can be kept informed.

Summary of scheme charges

Legal and General will initially invest contributions in the scheme’s default investment choice which is the LGIM Multi-Asset Fund.

The Fund Management Charge (FMC) is 0.13% and the Annual Management Charge (AMC) is 0.15% for this fund.

MPs’ Staff can change how their contributions are invested at any time. MPs’ Staff can find out more about investing in other funds in the pension scheme information provided online. The FMC can vary, depending on the fund chosen, currently between 0.08% and 0.97%. This is on top of the AMC of 0.15%.

Legal & General may make fair and reasonable changes to the charges and will provide at least 30 days prior notice.

Legal and General death in service benefit

The Nominate Your Beneficiary Form must be completed to inform the Trustees of the pension scheme who a member of staff would like them to consider making payment to should they die before taking their retirement benefits.

If changes need to be made to previous beneficiaries named, MPs’ Staff must complete the above form when required.

The form should be sent directly to Legal and General:

Workplace DC Pensions, Legal & General, Brunel House, 2 Fitzalan Road, Cardiff CF24 0EB.

Your beneficiary instructions can also be emailed to employerdedicatedteam@landg.com.

Further details are outlined at the end of the form.

Portcullis death in service

All permanent and fixed-term MPs’ Staff are eligible to participate in the Portcullis Death in Service scheme, which will pay to MPs’ Staff dependants a sum equal to two times their salary if they die during employment. Participation is subject to:

  • the terms of the Portcullis death in Service scheme, as amended from time to time      

  • the rules or the insurance policy of the relevant insurance provider, as amended from time to time    

  • MPs’ Staff satisfying the normal underwriting requirements of the relevant insurance provider and the premium being at a rate which the Trustee considers reasonable

Full details of the scheme are available from the Parliament intranet.

This benefit is administered by the Pensions Unit in The House of Commons and therefore IPSA cannot give any additional guidance regarding this.

The phone number for the Pension Unit is 020 7219 1356.

Pension opt-out

If a member of staff decides to opt out of the pension scheme, they can do so as long as it is before the opt-out date shown on your enrolment letter from Legal and General. This letter will be sent in the post after they have been enrolled. It will give instructions on how to do this online. If a member of staff does opt out by this date, they will be treated as if they had never joined the pension scheme.

If a member of staff doesn’t opt-out by this date, they can then cease payments into the pension scheme at any time, in accordance with the pension scheme rules. If they do this, both the employer contributions and any payments made by the member of staff up to that point may remain invested in the pension pot until they take their benefits. MPs’ Staff can take their benefits at any time from age 55.

Further information

Visit Legal and General for more about the scheme.

IPSA’s role as an independent regulator is to resource MPs appropriately to carry out their parliamentary functions and to support them in making eligible claims. We provide a staffing budget to meet staffing costs including salaries, overtime, reward and recognition payments, training, health welfare and wellbeing costs.

We want to enable MPs to be good employers and to be able to serve their constituents well. We think that a significant part of IPSA’s role in this is supporting MPs to recruit, retain and develop highly skilled and experienced staff. We have therefore increased the financial support for training to help staff gain skills that will assist in dealing with the increasing complexity of work. This includes further support for staff members’ mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.

The staffing budget has always contained an element for staff training and welfare costs. As part of IPSA’s 2019 review of the staffing budget, we found that in 2018-19, the average (mean) expenditure on such costs was about £940, or around 0.6% of the total staffing budget.

An extra amount of £4,000 has been added to the 2020-21 staffing budget of each MP to provide additional support for training, wellbeing, health and welfare costs of their staff. This is intended to cover two to three days of training and support for mental health and wellbeing per year for each staff member, as well as one-off health and welfare costs, such as eye tests or occupational health assessments.

This money may be spent in the following ways.

Training

MPs can claim for the cost of training for their staff provided it is training that will support staff to carry out the running of the constituency offices and other parliamentary functions. It is the MP’s responsibility to decide if the training costs are reasonable.

This can include training on:

  • office skills

  • dealing with handling difficult casework

  • training that covers a specific subject area that arises in policy work, correspondence or casework

  • training to support wellbeing at work such as vicarious trauma training

  • team-building training

  • any other training that is relevant to enable and support staff to carry out their jobs

The cost of the training can be claimed from the staffing budget and travel costs can be claimed from the travel and subsistence budget.

Health, welfare and wellbeing

MPs' can claim for one-off health and welfare costs that are associated with supporting staff, such as eyesight tests, flu jabs and occupational health assessments. It is the MP’s responsibility to decide if the costs are reasonable.

MPs cannot claim for ongoing health costs for staff. MPs can claim for the costs of support for staff wellbeing where it supports staff to carry out the running of the constituency offices and other parliamentary functions.

This could include:

  • support for dealing with work related stress

  • vicarious trauma

  • mindfulness courses

  • supervision sessions with a counsellor to debrief on traumatic casework

  • support for resilience and positive mental wellbeing at work

It is the MP’s responsibility to decide if the costs are reasonable.

Please note that costs to support staff with disabilities who need reasonable adjustments to their work environment can be claimed from the disability assistance fund. Please contact your account manager via info@theipsa.org.uk for more information about support for disabilities.

Claims and publication

You can claim for these costs from the staffing budget in the usual way.

For more information on making claims, visit Making reimbursement claims.

IPSA publishes individual claims made from the health and welfare expense categories and this includes the information added by an MP or proxy in the description field of the claim. We do not publish any staff names or initials for these claims.

If a staff name is mentioned in the description field, we will redact the name prior to publication. When you make a claim, you should omit any staff names or any other personal or sensitive information from the description field. If you have information you believe is important for IPSA to see but contains sensitive information that should not be released, please use the “add information” box on a claim. We do not proactively publish this field.

House of Commons sources of support

The House Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is a 24/7 365 day per year confidential helpline offering employees assistance, guidance and support with personal problems and/or work related problems that may impact their job performance, health, mental and emotional wellbeing.

Issues they cover include: family Issues, gambling, domestic abuse, debt, childcare, medical information, financial, insurance claims, legal, work, lifestyle addiction, relationships, consumer issues, stress and housing.

The EAP also offers short-term counseling and follow-up services for employees.

Contact details

Telephone 0800 030 5182.

This free phone line is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. There is no limit on how many times someone can call.

Online portal

You can request contact through Health Assured’s online portal. A call back will be arranged.

To access the portal, use the following login details:

  • Username: House

  • Password: Parliament

The portal also provides confidential access to wellbeing fact sheets, videos, self-help programmes, interactive tools (including assessment tools for mental health and stress) and educational resources to help with life’s challenges.

Online app

You can also request contact through the Health e-Hub app (free to download from the Apple or Android app store).

The app has the same information available on their online portal. The username and password are the same as for logging in to the portal.

Contact with the EAP is confidential, and not recorded or reported back to employers.

House Learning and Organisation Development team

The team provides training for MPs’ staff to enable them to carry out their roles effectively. Information on the courses available can be found on the learning management system, Act.

Contact details

Angela McHale

L&D Consultant

Tel: 020 7219 2285

Email: mchalea@parliament.uk

The payroll cut-off dates for 2021-22 are outlined below.

Cut-off refers to the deadline for the submission of:

  • timesheets

  • new starter documents

  • leaver documents

  • salary changes

April 2021 (tax period 1)

Cut off: 15 April

Pay date: 30 April

May 2021 (tax period 2)

Cut off: 14 May

Pay date: 28 May

June 2021 (tax period 3)

Cut-off: 15 June

Pay date: 30 June

July 2021 (tax period 4)

Cut-off: 15 July

Pay date: 30 July

August 2021 (tax period 5)

Cut-off: 13 August

Pay date: 31 August

September 2021 (tax period 6)

Cut-off: 15 September

Pay date: 30 September

October 2021 (tax period 7)

Cut-off: 15 October

Pay date: 29 October

November 2021 (tax period 8)

Cut-off: 15 November

Pay date: 30 November

December 2021 (tax period 9)

Cut-off: 15 December

Pay date: 31 December

January 2022 (tax period 10)

Cut-off: 14 January

Pay date: 31 January

February 2022 (tax period 11)

Cut-off: 15 February

Pay date: 28 February

March 2022 (tax period 12)

Cut-off: 15 March

Pay date: 31 March

As part of its Work and financial support during coronavirus, HMRC has provided information on what equipment, services or supplies are taxable if employees are working from home due to coronavirus (Covid-19).

If you are experiencing issues relating to your personal tax please contact HMRC directly.

IPSA does not set tax rates and we do not determine which tax code an individual is assigned.

All tax matters are managed by HMRC, who will then instruct IPSA payroll to use a specific tax code for an individual.

  • For MPs, call HMRC: 03000 581587

  • For MPs staff, call HMRC: 03000 534720

IPSA payroll

The payroll email address is payroll@theipsa.org.uk

Members HR

020 7219 2080 / 020 7219 4140 / membershr@parliament.uk

Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)

The external provider is Health Assured. They can be contacted by calling 0800 030 5182

All staff employed by MPs have access to the Employee Assistance Programme. This is a free and confidential service accessible 24 hours a day.

You can also call Members HR for details of the services offered by Health Assured, or if you need assistance with booking services such as an Occupational Health assessment.

  • MAPSA – the Members and Peers Staff Association: mapsa@parliament.uk

  • Unite parliamentary staff branch

  • Acas helpline number: 0300 123 1100

  • Legal and General – MPs’ Staff Pensions: 0345 070 8686 (Pin 43) (Mon – Fri 8.30 – 7 / Sat 9 – 12)

  • House of Commons Pension Unit – MPs’ Staff Death in Service Benefit: 020 7219 5759

  • House of Commons Pensions Unit – MP’s: 020 7219 1356

  • RPMI – MP’s Pension Provider: 0845 555 3377

Recruitment and employment guidance links

ACAS

Gov.uk

GMB

The GMB is recognised by the Parliamentary Labour Party and is working for further recognition agreements.

The Members' Staff Branch is contained within the wider Houses of Parliament Branch. Constituency staff are also covered by regional and political branches.

Read more about how to join, as well as benefits and services.

Contact the Chair of the Members' Staff Branch, Jenny Symmons, or call 020 7219 8461.

The following information should be used when inputting details into the Hourly Rate and Overtime Calculator.

Full-time equivalent salary

MPs can check this on the MP Team report.

Payroll proxies can check this on the contractual changes form.

Members of staff can check this by multiplying their monthly salary by 12 (using their most recent payslip).

Full-time equivalent hours

MPs can check this on the MP Team report.

Payroll proxies can check this on the member of staff’s contract.

Actual hours

MPs can check this on the MP Team report.

Payroll proxies can check this on the member of staff’s contract.

Members of staff can check this on the "My employment" tab of IPSA Online.

Casual staff hourly rate

MPs can check this on the MP Team report.

Payroll proxies can check this on the member of staff’s contract.

Members of staff can check this on the "My employment" tab of IPSA Online.

Casual staff annual holiday entitlement

This can be checked using the member of staff’s contract.

For full-time and part-time staff, type the following information in the relevant cells:

  • the full-time equivalent salary

  • the full-time equivalent hours and

  • the actual working hours

For casual staff, type the hourly rate and annual leave entitlement in the relevant cells. The calculator returns the amount paid to the member of staff and also the costs charged to the MP’s budget.

Notes

The Employer’s National Insurance (ERNIC) cost to charge to the MP’s budget is an approximate value due to the way this additional cost is processed.

Employers pay National Insurance on monthly salaries paid to staff members when the total salary for the month (this includes the normal monthly pay plus the extra time) is above the monthly threshold (£732).

Example:

Monthly salary = £700

Extra time = 4 hours @ £12.5 each = £50

ERNIC = £750 - £732 = £18

£18 x 13.8% = £2.48

In this example, only some of the overtime attracted ERNIC.

Contact IPSA

To get additional support, book a call back.