To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, what assessment has been made of the effect of IPSA's family leave policy on the (a) provision of adequate office arrangements for Members and (b)(i) physical and (ii) mental health of parliamentary staff returning from such leave.
11 October 2018
I have asked the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority to reply.
Letter from Marcial Boo, chief executive of IPSA, 10 October 2018:
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) provides Family Leave Guidance in relation to staff employed by MPs, a copy of which can be found on our website at: http://www.theipsa.org.uk/ipsa-for-mps/guidance.
This document provides guidance on maternity leave, paternity leave, adoption leave, shared parental leave, KIT/SPLIT days and caring leave. This is not a policy, but guidance to MPs on the statutory entitlements. As the legal employers of their staff, MPs are responsible for matters of individual staffing arrangements, such as approving instances of family leave and ensuring that they comply with relevant employment legislation.
As the document is guidance rather than a policy, and relates only to the statutory entitlements, we have not undertaken any specific assessment of its effects. However, IPSA encourages responsible employment and any necessary expenditure by MPs on the health and welfare of their staff, including their mental health. MPs can claim the cost of staff health and welfare costs, such as occupational health assessments, from their staffing budgets. We also undertake Equality Impact Assessments (EIA) in relation to major changes to our Scheme of MPs’ Business Costs and Expenses. We last undertook an EIA in March 2017 which concluded that changes proposed to our Scheme were likely to have a small positive impact on MPs’ staff in relation to pregnancy and maternity. A copy of that report can be found on our website at: http://www.theipsa.org.uk/publications/consultations/review-of-the-mps-scheme-of-business-costs-and-expenses.