104. Our recommendations for implementing the House's
proposal, as requested by the House, are as follows:
- The limit on the staffing of
Members' offices from public funds should continue to be a financial
one rather than a limit on the number of staff paid for.
- The employing body should be
a new statutory body with Members represented on it.
- The House should have responsibility and the
last word in cases of dismissal of staff, and the respective roles
of House and Member in this area should be carefully defined.
- The House should have only a minimal role in
recruitment, and should not require "fair and open recruitment",
but should insist on certain standard recruitment procedures as
a condition of funding.
- Provision would need to he made to enable the
House to meet its obligations under employment law, especially
as regards equal treatment.
- As much flexibility as possible should be retained
in the way Members' staff are organised, and Members should continue
to be able to take on unpaid interns.
- There should be no deterioration in the terms
and conditions of existing staff, and they should have the option
of redundancy rather than reassignment if the Member they work
for leaves the House.
105. We believe our proposed scheme would be the
best way of achieving what the House decided it wanted in April
and would be workable, although the problem of what to do with
the staff of Members who have left the House remains unresolved.
However, we do not commend our scheme to the House, for the following
- it would have heavy costs;
- it would secure no clear benefits;
- it would place Members' staff in an ambiguous
employment relationship; and
- it would significantly reduce the flexibility
Members currently have to manage their staff.
106. Our preference would be for the House (or
if appropriate the IPSA) instead to give greater support to Members
as employers, in the ways described above.
107. We have noted the criticisms from some Members'
staff that there was no consultation before the House took its
decision in April.
If the proposal that the House should become the employer of Members'
staff is to proceed, it will be essential that there is extensive
consultation both with Members and with their staff on a specific
detailed proposal before it is put to the House.
87 Para 101. Back
eg MS 3, 10, 47, 72. Back