Staff pension scheme: The Commission confirmed that the House of Commons Staff Pension Scheme would be transferred to the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme on 1 April 2014. The transfer will remove a major element of volatility from the House’s budget. The outstanding liabilities of the scheme (around £450 million) will be transferred to the Cabinet Office, which will bear the interest charge on this liability in future. This will remove a substantial cost from the House’s budget. The House will pay employers’ contributions to the scheme at more stable, and slightly lower, rates than at present. There will also be some administrative savings. The terms of the current House of Commons scheme and the Civil Service scheme are identical, so the transfer will have no impact on either current staff or pensioners. (Contact: Myfanwy Barrett – 0833)
Casual staff and zero hours contracts: The Commission discussed the use of casual staff and zero hours contracts by the House Service, and asked the Finance and Services Committee to gather and present to the Commission information on the use of such arrangements and possible alternative models for the employment of those working variable hours. (Contact: Andrew Walker – 5460)
Education Centre: The Commission received a further up-date on plans to deliver a temporary Education Centre for the start of the 2014/15 school year. The House resolved in June 2007 that there should be a dedicated space for educational visitors. (Contact: John Pullinger – 3635)
Diversity and Inclusion: The Commission welcomed a report outlining progress in implementing the House Service’s Diversity and Inclusion Scheme and a series of initiatives to address under-representation of women and minority ethnic staff in senior posts that had been agreed by the Commission in September 2012. (Contact: Anne Foster – 1412)
Observations on matters in the bulletin or other aspects of the House’s administration should be sent to email@example.com for the attention of the Commission.
Commission membership: Mr Speaker (Chair), Sir Paul Beresford, Frank Doran, Angela Eagle, Andrew Lansley (Leader of the House) and John Thurso.