Code of Conduct for House of Lords Members' Staff

Published 24 April 2017 

Contents

1. This Code of Conduct for Members’ Staff applies to staff who have a parliamentary photo-pass or email account sponsored by a member of the House of Lords for the purpose of providing parliamentary secretarial or research assistance to the member, including members’ spouses with an email account.

2. Members of the House of Lords do not receive a specific allowance for employing staff; consequently, the level of staff support for members varies widely. Many staff working for members obtain income from sources outside the House.

3. Members’ staff should at all times conduct themselves in a manner which will tend to maintain and strengthen the public’s trust and confidence in the integrity of the House of Lords.

4. Members’ staff should not take any action which would risk undermining any member’s compliance with the Code of Conduct for Members of the House of Lords.

5. Members’ staff are required to register in the Register of Members’ Staff Interests:
(a) all employment outside the House;
(b) any other financial interest in businesses or organisations involved in parliamentary lobbying;
(c) any gift (e.g. jewellery) or benefit (e.g. hospitality, services or facilities) received in the course of a calendar year, if the value of the gift or benefit exceeds £140 and if it relates to or arises from the individual’s work in Parliament (though excluding gifts or benefits from the member who sponsors the individual).

6. When registering employment, members’ staff should state the employing organisation, the nature of its business (where this is not self-evident) and the nature of the post that they hold in the organisation.

7. Any change in the interests of members’ staff should be registered within one month of the change.

8. The Registrar of Lords’ Interests is available to advise members’ staff and members themselves on the registration requirements. Anyone who acts on the advice of the Registrar in registering or not registering an interest satisfies fully the requirements of the Code of Conduct for Members’ Staff in that regard.

9. Members’ staff shall not make use of their access to the member who sponsors their pass, to other members (of either House), to the parliamentary email network or to the parliamentary estate to further the interests of an outside person or body from whom they have received or expect to receive payment or other incentive or reward.

10. Members’ staff shall not disclose draft reports of select committees or other confidential information that is provided to them or to the member who sponsors them.

11. The House of Lords Commissioner for Standards investigates alleged breaches of this Code. Any such investigation is conducted in accordance with the procedures set out in the Guide to the Code of Conduct for Members of the House of Lords, mutatis mutandis.

12. The Sub-Committee on Lords’ Conduct and the Committee for Privileges and Conduct shall consider reports by the Commissioner into alleged breaches of this Code in accordance with the procedures set out in the Guide to the Code of Conduct for Members of the House of Lords, mutatis mutandis.

13. Where a member’s staff is found in breach of this Code and the case is not suitable for remedial action to be agreed between the Commissioner and the individual (or between the Commissioner and the member), the sanctions that may apply include:
• suspension of the individual’s pass;
• withdrawal of the individual’s pass;
• cancellation of the individual’s email account.

14. Nothing in this Code affects the right of Black Rod or the Yeoman Usher to remove a pass at any time for security-related or other reasons.

15. Nothing in this Code affects the right of the Parliamentary Digital Service to cancel an email account at any time for security-related or other reasons.

Related links

Lords’ Conduct (Sub-Committee)

The Sub-Committee on Lords’ Conduct undertakes detailed consideration of matters relating to the Code of Conduct.