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Staff - Numbers (2017)

Request

I would like to know how many job positions are held at the House of Commons in each category below:

  1. Permanent staff;
  2. Staff hired at the convenience of the MP’s but remunerated by the House of Commons (unstable staff or temporary staff);
  3. Third party personnel that perform their attributions at the House of Commons (workforce provided by contracted private companies)

 

Response

Please note, our response covers both House of Commons staff and Parliamentary Digital Service (PDS) staff. The Parliamentary Digital Service (PDS) is a joint service providing information and communications technology services for both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. 
 
I would like to know how many job positions are held at the House of Commons in each category below:
 

  1. Permanent staff
    This information is held by the House of Commons. The House reports on these figures at the end of each month, so as at 28 February 2017, 2,297 members of staff are employed on a permanent contract.
  2. Staff hired at the convenience of the MP’s but remunerated by the House of Commons (unstable staff or temporary staff)
    We have interpreted “unstable staff or temporary staff” to mean staff on fixed-term contracts (i.e. temporary) or casual.  Please also note that the House of Commons only employs staff for the administration of House business, which allows the Members to carry out their parliamentary work.  The House does not employ Members’ staff (researchers, office and secretarial staff, etc.).
    Some information is held by the House of Commons. As at 28 February 2017, 519 members of House of Commons’ staff are employed on flexible or fixed term contracts. The variable business timetable of the House of Commons means that fluctuations in the level of demand in these areas can be considerable, so having a flexible workforce to supplement the core permanent staff is an efficient way to deliver services while making best use of public money.  These staff are in receipt of many of the same benefits as other members of House staff, such as 28 days paid annual leave a year (accrued based on each hour that they work) and sick absence pay. They are also entitled to join the House of Commons pension scheme from their first day and are automatically enrolled if they are contracted for a year or more.
    The House of Commons does not hold details about staff employed by Members of Parliament.  However, you may wish to consider contacting individual Members directly to ask for the information you seek, contact details are available on our parliamentary pages. Please note that Members of Parliament are not public authorities for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act, which means that they are not obliged to respond to requests made under the Act. 
  3. Third party personnel that perform their attributions at the House of Commons (workforce provided by contracted private companies)
    This information is not held by the House of Commons. It is not possible to identify the total number of third party staff, provided by contracted private companies, who work at the House of Commons.
    However, it may be helpful to know that the House of Commons has a variety of pass holders who can be classed as “contractors”, working in teams such as the Parliamentary Estates Directorate, Security, postal services, trainers, and specialists working in the Parliamentary Digital Service.