Guide to Free Legal Services to support constituency casework


Available for MPs’ Offices Only

Guide to Free Legal Services to support constituency casework

The APPG for Access to Justice, which launched last month.

They have been working with a number of law firms to explore the types of legal problems that arise in MPs’ casework and one of the barristers involved, Toby Brown, has put together a comprehensive guidebook of all the law centres and charities across England and Wales which offer legal advice. It covers everything from immigration, domestic abuse, employment, social security, family issues and how to access legal aid.

There are enough hard copies for every MP and it would be an invaluable resource for any constituency office, irrespective of political party.

If you would be interested in obtaining a hard copy please email and a copy will be sent to you. A PDF version is also available.

Useful new guides from the Commons Library


The House of Commons Library website contains a wealth of information which is of use not only to Members of Parliament and their staff, but are also accessible by members of the public.

The latest guides to be published are:

You can find more constituency casework guides 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:

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.

MPs’ Guide to the NHS 2019


The NHS in England is made up of, and supported by, a number of different kinds of organisations at local and national level.  They have produced a very useful guide to who does what and how NHS services are funded, delivered and regulated for your constituents.

If you are an MP or a member of an MP’s staff and would like a copy of the guide, please let us know by emailing

Please note that this guide is not available to members of the public.

Complaints about an MP


w4mp is not able to investigate complaints about MPs or the House of Commons. Please do not send complaints or personal information to w4mp, as we will not be able to assist.

There are two organisations which deal with complaints about Members of Parliament:

You may wish to contact the House of Commons Enquiry Service for further advice on how to make a complaint.

Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards will investigate allegations that an MP has broken the Code of Conduct and the rules associated with it. These include for example rules about: „

The Commissioner will not investigate complaints about:

  • policy matters;
  • an MP’s views or opinions;
  • an MP’s handling of or decision about constituency cases and correspondence at any stage; (A local MP will generally do as much as they can to help a constituent, but (s)he is not obliged to take up every matter that is brought to their attention);
  • the conduct of an MP’s wider public life, unless the MP’s conduct has caused serious damage to the reputation of the House of Commons as a whole or of MPs more generally.

Further information can be found here:

Compliance Officer for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority

The post of Compliance Officer for IPSA was established by the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009, as amended by the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010.

The Compliance Officer’s remit is defined in statute and is to:

  • conduct an investigation if he has reason to believe that an MP may have been paid an amount under the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs (the Scheme) that should not have been allowed; and
  • at the request of an MP, review a determination by IPSA to refuse reimbursement for an expense claim, in whole or in part.

As the Compliance Officer’s role is confined to matters pertaining to the Scheme, he has no power to investigate complaints that pre-date the creation of IPSA in May 2010.  Complaints regarding expense claims prior to May 2010 are usually handled by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.

Site Index


This is an automatically generated list of all w4mp Guides for the last five years. Please note that the information and guidance in them may be out of date – they are left as an archive.  We have made every effort to keep the old sites accessible, because that makes the Web stronger.

The original w4mp site ran from 2000 to February 2004. You can see it here.

The second site ran from February 2004 to October 2012. You can see it here.

Current guides can be found in the w4mp Library:

Older Guides

Alt Guides

This note is provided by Working for an MP (w4mp).

Most of the material in Guides is subject to Crown copyright protection. Unless otherwise indicated material may be reproduced free of charge in any format or media without specific permission. This is subject to the material being reproduced accurately and not being used in a derogatory manner or in a misleading context. For more details see our Copyright page



Here you will find a collection of guides to good practice that  will offer you advice in carrying out the main activities expected of you in your job. They are constantly being revised and updated so if you do print a guide out please remember to check back from time to time.

We also include links to resources that will be of use to staff. Some of these are on the Parliamentary Intranet and can only be accessed if you have an appropriate login.

Current Guides

Support in Your Job

Guides to Parliament

The Library

Your Office

Your MP

Researcher Extraordinaire

General Elections

Who’s Who

In the Constituency

Online Presence

Groups which staff can join




W4MP Archive

W4MP has been in operation since 2000 and we have published hundred of guides in that time. Many of these have been superseded and removed from our main site, but they can be consulted on our archive site. These are for research purposes and should not be relied upon as a guide to current practice.


Our light-hearted alt.guides are also available for your delectation and delight


Other Online Resources

Many additional resources are available to MPs staff, including: