Added: 26 August 2008
This is Part 3 of three guides on hiring staff to work in an MP’s office. They are primarily aimed at staff of MPs and particularly those of you who have the job of recruiting, interviewing and inducting new staff. But these guides will also be of interest to anyone wanting to gain an insight into working in an MP’s office, whether at Westminster or in a constituency.
Part 3 is intended as a follow on from ‘Part 2 – Hiring Staff’ and aimed at those who have already interviewed and selected a new member of staff.
The three guides are:
Hiring Staff: Part 3 - Induction
When you write to confirm a formal job offer make sure you include the following information in the letter:
You should also include:
You must inform the House of Commons Resources Department that you have a new member of staff starting and request a ‘new starter pack’ from them (ext. 1340). This includes contracts, the SA1 form giving authorisation to pay a salary, a P46 which sorts out the correct tax codes and the pension application forms.
Make sure you send back the SA1 form as soon as possible otherwise the salary won’t be paid!
The contract must be returned with an outline job description, both signed, within 8 weeks of the start date. Ensure you keep a copy on your staff records and give a copy to the new staff member to keep.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Parliamentary Intranet, it's worth spending some time browsing there. From the home page, on the left side, click on House of Commons > Resources > Members and Members' Staff. This takes you to the Resources homepage; now have a scroll through the Index. You will be surprised how many useful checklists, guides and links you've always wanted - but could never find - are listed there.
To guide you in more detail on what to go through on the first day you can download a checklist from the Parliamentary Intranet and use this as a basis for information which you might need to provide.
However as a summary you should include:
There will be more specific details available on the resources page but as a guide you may be wish to point out the following:
Full information is set out in the guide from the Office of the Clerk Facilities and Services for Members' Staff (latest version is 20 October 2006) and covers: Employment and financial information, The Parliamentary estate, Business of the House and Information services
Each office works differently in how they train a new member of staff and obviously this will depend on what position they are working in, but it may be helpful to be able to provide your new staff member with:
Finally, if they haven’t already found it, point them towards the W4MP guides page (www.w4mp.org/html/library/default.asp) which will give them information on what to expect when working in an MP’s office, help with different types of casework and how to undertake research projects. Even if these aren’t relevant to their own position it will help them understand what other staff members do.
Many new staffers find the first few weeks pretty overwhelming and this can be made worse by the lack of independence they experience while waiting for their pass to come though. You may have forgotten how it was for you but you can help a newcomer by acknowledging that it's 'normal' for them to feel as though they have been thrown in the deep end! Promise them that it will get better and try to spare time to show them round yourself.
SG August 2008
You can also