Details of MPs using zero hours contracts


Could I make a formal FOI request to ask how many contracts for MP's staff are of a type of zero hour and further to that point could the Member of Parliament be named if so


IPSA holds the information that you request.

In responding to your request, we have interpreted your request for the number of MPs’ staff on zero-hour contracts as the number of MP’s staff who are contracted on an hourly rate rather than a salary.

According to our records, as of the date of your request, there were 211 individuals active on IPSA’s payroll contracted on an hourly rate.  This may include any short-term staff taken on – for example, to provide paternity, maternity or sickness cover – part-time as well as full-time staff and apprentices and interns whose employment conditions have fulfilled the conditions set out in paragraphs 7.8 and 7.9 of the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (‘the Scheme’).  Needless to say, this figure does not relate to the number of MPs who are currently employing individuals on such contracts.

In IPSA’s view, the release of the number of MPs’ staff who are contracted on an hourly rate, by MP, would likely lead to the identification of the contractual terms of those individuals.  This is especially of concern where those individuals are junior members of staff or in circumstances where the MP has a small number of staff.  In the interests of protecting the personal data of those junior members of staff, we are therefore withholding the names of those Members of Parliament under section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act.  

Section 40(2) provides that personal data about third parties is exempt information if one of the conditions set out in section 40(3) is satisfied. Under the FOI Act disclosure of this information would breach the fair processing principle (Principle 1) of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), where it would be unfair to those persons or is confidential. For further information, you may wish to visit the UK Legislation website.

22 September 2013
Exemptions Applied:
Section 40