CV Writing for Members’ Staff


House of Commons Training Session

Course Overview

  • Explain what makes an effective CV
  • Structure and format their CV for maximum impact
  • Eliminate unnecessary information and material
  • Project confidence and a positive mindset through the words used
  • Amend and update their own CV to meet a Job or Person Specification
  • Enable participants to take a structured approach to writing job applications and build confidence in applying for roles

Sessions available on:

  • 4 March 2024 – 09:00 – 11:00
  • 11 March 2024 – 09:00 – 11:00
  • 21 March 2024 – 09:00 – 11:00
  • 26 March 2024 – 09:30 – 11:30
  • 5 April 2024 – 09:30 – 11:30
  • 10 April 2024 – 13:30 – 15:30

To book, please go here:

Common employment law disputes – Caseworker Discussion Forum


Time: 14:30 – 15:30
Date: Thursday 22 February 2024
Location: Virtual via Microsoft Teams

The February 2024 forum will be on the topic of Common employment law disputes. We will be joined by Patrick Brione from the Library’s Business and Transport Section.

To book, please go here:

Dissolution Guidance 2024

A view of Parliament from Gt Peter St

Updated 16 April 2024.

Dissolution is the official term for the end of a Parliament before a general election. When Parliament is dissolved every seat in the House of Commons becomes vacant. MPs immediately revert to being members of the general public and those who wish to become MPs again must stand for election as candidates.

Within Parliament a dedicated General Election Planning Group is leading work to ensure Parliament is fully prepared for a general election to take place by January 2025.

The House has now published its revised dissolution guidance, which aims to help Members and Members’ staff understand the rules in place and the support available to them before, during and after the next election, including what to expect during the dissolution period.

You can find  the guidance on the new parliamentary intranet, ParliNet.

There are separate areas for Members who are standing again and those who are not standing and a separate guide for Members’ staff which also includes information relating to boundary changes.

The full guidance is available as a PDF on Sharepoint

The checklists on ParliNet include useful material on each MP’s duties as an employer and how to prepare casework, with particular concern for data protection issues. Many things are time-critical, as staff passes are suspended five days after dissolution.

Handling personal data is a key aspect, and the Guidance for the use of personal data by elected representatives in carrying out constituency casework from the Information Commissioner’s Office will be invaluable.

There is also a page of Frequently Asked Questions on Constituency Casework Data and Dissolution on Parlinet.

There is also a lot of guidance on the IPSA website.

Please note that the guides etc may be updated before the election and so you should refer to ParliNet and not any stored web pages or PDFs for the latest guidance.

You may also find this report of interest: Smoothing the cliff edge: supporting MPs at their point of departure from elected office

Digital right to work checks go live


Digital right to work checks were introduced during the coronavirus pandemic to enable employers to continue hiring when face-to-face checks were not possible. This allowed applicants to send ID documents to employers using email, video call, and apps.

From 1 October 2022, UK employers wishing to carry out digital checks must:

  • use identity service providers (IDSPs)
  • keep digital records for two years after an employee leaves employment

Many employers have moved to remote and hybrid working, so the option for secure, digital right to work checks is designed to help make the recruitment process more efficient.

What does this mean for you?

These changes mean that employers will not be allowed to verify ID documents using less secure methods like email or video call after 30 September.

How to check an applicant’s right to work

Right to work checks can be done in three ways:

  • checking the applicant’s original documents (in person)
  • using identity verification technology (IDVT) with an IDSP
  • a Home Office online right to work check

For further information please see the government’s guide on how to check a job applicant’s right to work and guide to right to work checks for employers.

See also

Our guide to foreign nationals working for Members of Parliament

GMB Branch for MPs’ and Lords’ Staff


If you’re ever having a problem at work, big or small, or if you want to be part of making things better for MPs’ and Lords’ staff, then the GMB is here for you.

The GMB is the trade union for MPs’ staff and Lords’ staff.  We represent staff of all political parties, both in Westminster and in the constituency.  Whether you’re an unpaid intern or a (more than) full-time office manager, we would love to have you join our community.

The GMB is Parliament’s campaigning union.  The Laura Cox and Gemma White reports have exposed the widespread bullying and harassment that has taken place in Parliament.  We refuse to tolerate any form of bullying: we are determined not only to stamp this out wherever we see it, but also put robust systems in place to stop this from ever happening again.  Parliament is an institution that is hundreds of years old – but that doesn’t mean we should have to put up with ancient standards of behaviour.

On top of this, we’ve been working tirelessly to make dealing with IPSA easier, for better pay, and simply to make sure everyone gets paid the right amount on time. It’s by working together that we can make the change that we want to see happen

We have a team of experienced reps on hand to help with any problem you may have, however big or small.  We will be there to give you impartial and confidential advice, be by your side in every step of a disciplinary procedure, help you make a complaint through the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme, or simply to talk any issues you might have through.  You’re never alone when you’re with us.

GMB is the biggest Trade Union on Parliamentary Estate.  While our Branch is focused on the unique issues faced by staff that work for MPs and Peers, the GMB also represents staff working on the estate in catering, retail, and all sorts of others.  The partnership between all workers across the estate is the cornerstone of our union, and this allows us to run bigger campaigns with more impact.

We have a recognition agreement with the Parliamentary Labour Party, a productive working relationship with IPSA and the Members Services Team.

We want everyone to feel safe, secure and supported at work, and we’re going to stop until that’s the case.  Join us if you want to make Parliament a better place to work, and make sure your rights are protected. We will have your back no matter what.

For further information email:, and follow us on Twitter: @GMB_MPs_Staff.

Join us here:

Best Practice Guide to Recruitment and Selection


The House of Commons Members’ HR Service has produced a Best Practice Guide to Recruitment and Selection.

It provides practical advice on efficient and effective recruitment practices. The guide aims to support Members (and their Office Managers) with the tools to attract and recruit people with diverse backgrounds, skills and abilities.

Even if you’re not currently recruiting, w4mp recommends that MPs and Office Manager take the time to read this very useful document.

Please see here for further information:

Recruitment and Selection – Best Practice Guides


Please note that links to the old Parliamentary intranet have been removed as of October 2023. Please use search on ParliNet to find relevant current details, if available.

The House of Commons Members’ HR Service has produced a series of Best Practice Guides. Recruitment and Selection.

They can be found on Sharepoint

The one on Recruitment and Selection provides practical advice on efficient and effective recruitment practices and support Members (and their Office Managers) with the tools to attract and recruit people with diverse backgrounds, skills and abilities.

Recruiting staff can be a rewarding experience, unfortunately, there are some common pitfalls if the process is rushed or not well thought through.  There is also a legal requirement placed on all employers to ensure that recruitment practices meet the requirements of the Equality Act (2010).  It is therefore important to ensure that your recruitment practices are not only deemed to be fair, consistent and transparent but that this is also the experience of the individuals going through your recruitment process.

The guide looks at the different stages of a recruitment process, which would normally include:

  • Identifying the role you need and how it will support the function of your office.
  • How to write a job description in line with the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) requirements.
  • Guidance on writing a person specification.
  • Putting an advert together and exploring various options to advertise your vacancy.
  • Best practice on selection methods.
  • Making the job offer, and the following checks that need to be carried out e.g. security vetting, employment references etc.

Although this is a guide to recruitment and selection, it is well worth reading it even if you’re not currently in the process of seeking a new employee.  It contains a wealth of valuable information which could also be used to help you to carry out appraisals and self-assessments.



For information about security clearance for people on work experience see Apply for security vetting and passes

The Members’ HR Service


The Members’ HR Advice Service advises Members on all matters related to their employment of staff.  They aim to promote good employment practice and deliver a personal and tailored service to MPs by providing them with high quality advice and documentation.

Whilst the Members’ HR Advice Service can only give guidance to Members of Parliament themselves or, if authorised, their office managers, the Members’ HR Advice Service intranet pages contain lots of useful information and links to forms and guides and in particular the Best Practice Guides

They offer a wide range of services, which include:

  • Confidential advice to individual Members on all employee relations such as disciplinary and grievances, sickness absence management, poor performance, capability processes and office reorganisation.
  • Formal guidance to Members on contractual terms and conditions including maternity and paternity rights, working time regulations, probationary period, recruitment and flexible working.
  • Promoting best practice application of employment law and policies and procedures.
    A range of tailored template and bespoke documentations to assist members in managing their HR issues.
  • The team can support Members at HR meetings held on the parliamentary estate or by telephone if the meetings are held off the parliamentary estate.
  • Members may authorise their office managers to handle HR and staffing issues with HR Advice Services.

Insurance for MPs


The House of Commons funds and administers a range of insurance policies designed to protect MPs when carrying out their Parliamentary and constituency duties.

These policies include:

  • Employers and Public Liability
  • Personal Accident
  • Travel Insurance
  • Professional Indemnity (including defamation)
  • Employment Practices Liability

The House of Commons does not provide contents insurance for constituency offices.

The employers and public liability insurance is for constituency offices only, and covers people on work experience as well as employees.  The House of Commons, like the Civil Service, acts as its own insurer therefore no certificate or policy is available.  For further information, and to download copies of the insurance policies and certificates, please visit Insurance for Members and Members’ staff.

Working from Home: A guide for those who work for an MP


A guide for those who work for an MP

Last updated: 5 February 2020

This guide is for MPs’ staff who spend some or all of their time working from home….or are thinking of doing so.

According to the TUC, 3.5 million people in the UK now work from home as work patterns change rapidly and technology progresses to allow for more flexible forms of employment . Working from home can have huge benefits, including less stress and lower transport costs but you may find it more difficult to separate work and family life or motivate yourself outside the office environment.

The rules – and the things you need to think about – are very different if you’re a home-worker or a freelance contractor.

Our guide is in three parts:

  1. Background information and advice
  2. The experience of one staffer who currently works from home
  3. Advice from the Commons Resources Dept 
  4. Finally…your views.


Part 1 – Background information and advice

A lot of the on-line information about working from home talks about ‘teleworkers’ because it’s assumed that you will be using a computer and Internet connection to interact with your office, and much of the advice is about how to set these systems up and work with them. But there is a lot of good general advice for anyone who is trying to work from home.




Health & Safety Executive:

HMRC information on working from home costs:

The Telework Association – provides advice on how to approach teleworking, information on technology, examples of how other people progress.

If you’re working from home you’ll have to avoid the temptations of daytime TV – not a challenge, you may think, but never underestimate the appeal of a guest-filled sofa when work is dull. If you must watch something then Politics Live is a reasonable compromise – and this 2006 online guide to working from home may even give you some useful tips.  There is also an even older, but still interesting, news report on the trend to home working at

Finally, don’t forget to take good care of your computer and secure your Internet connection.  A the time of writing (October 2023) there is information on flexible working from the House of Lords on ParliNet.

You can access the Parliamentary Network from your own equipment and instructions on remote working are available.

There is advice for constituency offices on ParliNet.

You should ensure that your home or mobile technology is  secure and there is advice on cyber-security on Parlinet.

Part 2 – Working from Home – How to make it work
                 words of wisdom from an experienced staff member  

I work for an MP and am a mother of three with 20 years experience in Parliament. I have found that my job is pretty much full time and that it’s just as easy to do the letters on a laptop at home as it is at the office in Westminster.  Of course e-mail can be a curse in the sense that people can contact you the whole time but the beauty of it is that you can respond from wherever you are.

The work involves a fantastic quantity of e-mails, angry telephone calls, boring routine work etc… I know I am not alone in facing this kind of challenge because the British work the longest hours of any European nation and we have more women in the workforce than any European country.

Modern-day thinking is all about encompassing home life and office life; therefore working from home has increased.  Some big employers have made ‘working to enhance their employees work/life balance’ a central tenet of their employment philosophy.   Many employees carve out a job working partly from office and home and remain on call ‘out of hours’ providing vital extra back-up.  Also, the general trend is towards more flexibility in the workplace and working from home in a part-time capacity.

Whatever situation you might be in I hope this guide will be useful in providing you with the tools and, most importantly, the confidence to work effectively from home.  After much trial and error here are my tips for how to make your life easier.

1)       Clarify your role within your office – whatever your job title you will be expected to provide the whole range of support required.  You will have to manage the office and deal with day-to-day business just as you would from any other conventional office set-up.  There will be visitors to direct and telephone enquiries to handle.  e-mails and letters will still be coming in thick and fast.  The diary will need to be managed and engagements arranged.  All this can be managed working remotely away from base camp, but you need to establish clear boundaries and make sure everyone understands and respects them.

2)       Establish a proven work record.  To achieve your aims of effective work from home you will need to prove that you can provide all the support your MP will need: whether it be photocopying, filing or more demanding research and case work.  You will need abundant goodwill and be able to sail through the dramas and complications that can arise in an MP’s office.

3)       Plan ahead.  You must decide what personality type you are:  it helps to be a good planner if you hope to work from home.  You must have a strong planning focus and have a sound balance that will help give you a clear vision of where you want to get to and achieve.  You must advise all those around you – your boss, colleagues, friends and family about your commitment to work efficiently from home.

4)       Efficient delivery.  As a remote worker you must be a great encourager – you will have cut your organisational teeth in the MP’s office and now see yourself ready to concentrate on serious service delivery.  You must put a high priority on forging positive relationships with colleagues and establish a reputation of efficient delivery so your track record will speak for itself.  You will find that added success brings added pressure and you have got to handle it.  There is a lot of give and take in an MP’s business but they are an easy target and you must be able to cope with anything that comes your way.

5)       Up to date technology.  The key to success in working from home is the smooth running of the designated ‘MP staff office’.  You will need to structure your work environment and integrate your work priorities to function just as easily from the office as from home.   Ensuring that you are equipped to a high standard is essential to the day-to-day business of running constituency work.

Working Effectively

Amazingly, Parliamentary work can be just as effective from home, as at the constituency or Westminster office.

It’s a significant undertaking that must be supported from your boss down to ensure the right level of partnership and co-operation.

The major challenge will be to get across simply and effectively that you are working remotely and ready to deal with any issue, however complex.  You will have a framework in place to cope with all the key jobs required by your MP.

The great outcome is that you will be dealing with a lot of stuff working remotely as distinct from home base, and most people will not know the difference.

In a working-from-home environment there will be difficult times ahead, but, with the right attitude, I believe working from home can become, and be seen to become, a thriving workplace.

                        Tips for working from home
1 Mail re-direct.  Members’ Post Office:  x 4639 or use the Redirection form
2 Separate phone line for modem/broadband/internet
3 Contact Telephone Supervisor in The Commons for number divert: x 6161 and/or have an office mobile phone.
4 Keep duplicate stocks of all stationery, ministerial responsibilities book, copy of entire office address book.  All of these should be available on the intranet too.
5 Technology – you will need a computer and a printer.  You may wish to invest in a small copier or multifunction printer; Phone with number display and hands free facility
6 Troubleshooting tel nos.  keep safely to hand:  Email problems/connection with parliamentary intranet:  x 2001

Part 3 – Advice from the House of Commons

This advice on ParliNet relates to remote working in general.