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Calls to the helpline (2017)


  1. How many calls has the “the complaints hotline” has received since it was set up?
  2. Can I please have a full breakdown of the nature of the calls?
  3. What actions were taken as a result of allegations made to this hotline?
  4. How much has this service cost, per year?



This request is for information about the Employee Assistance Programme. This provides, amongst other benefits, a free confidential helpline which is available 24/7 for all Members’ staff. The service, provided on behalf of the House by Health Assured, allows staff to discuss and seek advice on personal and professional issues, including:

  • Health and well-being information
  • Financial issues
  • General advice on employment law
  • Stress at home or work and relationship matters

Additionally, face-to-face counselling sessions can be offered where appropriate

The service was set up in May 2014.

After October 2017 it has been agreed that the House of Commons proactively publishes this data on a quarterly basis on our Transparency pages.

You also asked for information relating to the nature of the call.  The House does not hold records about the nature of calls made to Health Assured other than in the past twelve months (November 2016 – October 2017).  During this time, a very small number of calls were identified by Health Assured as being related to concerns about bullying and harassment.  However, owing to the low numbers of these calls (fewer than 5) disclosing this data may make it possible for individuals to be identified. This information is therefore exempt by virtue of section 40 (2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), as disclosure of this information to the public generally, in the House’s view, would not be consistent with data protection principles in the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). This is an absolute exemption and the public interest test does not apply.

The House does not hold any information related to allegations made to this hotline.  This is a confidential service and Health Assured does not report these details to the House for further action. 

The fee paid by the House of Commons to Health Assured to provide an Employee Assistance Service to Members' Staff May 2014 has been:



May 2015 to April 2016 £18,480
May 2016 to April 2017 £16,170
May 2017 to October 2017 £6,930

These figures are exclusive of VAT. They have been listed in annual figures as requested, however it may help you to know that the initial pilot (May 2014 - April 2016) was extended for six months at a cost of £9,240, until October 2016, while a full tender process was conducted. The tender was conducted by a panel of House of Commons employees and Members' staff representatives and the new contract was awarded from November 2016 at a lower annual cost.