Decisions 25 November 2013

Monday 25 November 2013 at 5pm in Speaker's House

Present:

The Speaker, in the Chair
Sir Paul Beresford
Frank Doran
Angela Eagle
Mr Andrew Lansley (Leader of the House)
John Thurso

1.   SECURITY UPDATE

The Commission took note of a paper from the Parliamentary Security Director.

2.   MEMBERS’ INSURANCE

The Committee agreed to extend the coverage of the employer/public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance available to Members; to take from IPSA responsibility for the employer/public liability insurance policy; and to undertake further work on how to support Members affected by fixated individuals.

3.   LEGAL COSTS: INDIVIDUAL CASE

The Committee recommended to Mr Speaker that a request to meet further costs incurred by a Member in relation to an Employment Tribunal case should be met under the provision in the General Services Budget of the Members Estimate for “other appropriate expenditure within the ambit of the vote”, subject to a formal undertaking from the Member to repay any sums subsequently received as costs from the complainant and a commitment to keep the House Administration regularly informed of progress with the case.

4.   EMPLOYMENT CONTRACTS

The Commission considered information presented by the Finance and Services Committee and agreed that the House should move towards a position in which all House staff working variable hours on a regular basis should have a guaranteed minimum hours contract, subject to negotiation with the Trade Union Side on the detailed arrangements. There would be an end to zero hours contracts for all directly employed staff of the House.

5.   ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE’S REPORT ON INDUCTION (FIRST WEEKS AT WESTMINSTER: INDUCTION ARRANGEMENTS FOR NEW MPS IN 2015, HC 193 2013–14)

The Commission and Committee agreed their joint response to the Administration Committee.

The Commission agreed that all Members in the 2015 parliament should be provided with a tablet computer financed from the Administration Estimate.

The Committee agreed to make the change to the resolution of the House proposed in recommendation 33 of the Administration Committee’s Report subject to it being clear that Members could purchase IT equipment through the same mechanism in addition to the loan equipment funded by the Members Estimate.

6.   MEETING DATES FOR 2014

20 January, 10 February, 10 March, 7 April, 19 May, 16 June, 14 July, 8 September, 27 October, 24 November and 15 December.

7.   ANY OTHER BUSINESS

The Commission noted that the House had that day applied for accreditation as a London Living Wage employer.

8.   DATE OF NEXT MEETING

The next meeting of the Commission/MEC will take place on Monday 16 December at 5pm in Speaker’s House.