Peers for the Planet is a new initiative to bring together members of the House of Lords who want to put a response to critical environmental threats at the top of the political agenda. It will work across political groups and last for a fixed term of ten years which will be decisive in determining the extent to which we are able to address the twin threats of climate change and biodiversity loss.
The UK House of Lords has significant power as a second chamber to both initiate and alter legislation and to use its global standing to partner with other Parliaments around the world.
Peers for the Planet will exist in the form of a Parliamentary Group as well as a separate non-profit organisation. The Group will focus on a number of key activities under three core themes:
- A domestic focus to place action on climate change and biodiversity loss at the top of the political agenda;
- Partnerships with civil society and particularly youth groups;
- International partnerships with other Parliaments, governments, cross-governmental actors and international businesses.
The group is seeking to expedite progress towards a just transition towards an affordable, zero-carbon, sustainable economy and society.
The Dissolution page has been updated to show the guidance from HMRC and UKVI in relation to casework. You can read that information here: http://www.w4mp.org/library/dissolution-2015/
Dissolution is almost upon us. Are you ready for it? Do you know what you need to do? Don’t leave it until it’s too late, find out now.
The Dissolution of Parliament will take place on Monday 30 March 2015. w4mp has written two guides to help you prepare for the upheaval which inevitably comes with Dissolution:
The first one gives a general overview of what you can expect to happen:
Dissolution 2015 – general information
The second provides links to the definitive advice from IPSA and PICT:
If you have any further questions, please use our feedback form to let us know.
ParliOUT, the Workplace Equality Network (WEN) in support of LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersexual, and questioning) people in Parliament, has been named as one of the UK’s ‘Awesome Networks’ by Inclusive Networks. This is the second accolade within five months that ParliOUT has been awarded.
Inclusive Networks is a hub for celebrating diversity and inclusion and has named 40 network groups of all types and from all sectors for its inaugural awards. The awards aim to celebrate the positive impact of network groups such as ParliOUT and also to thank those people who coordinate the networks, often in addition to their day jobs.
Jenny Radcliffe and Martin Smith, Co-Chairs of the ParliOUT Workplace Equality Network said:
“We are absolutely delighted that ParliOUT has been named as one of the inaugural Awesome Networks! The ParliOUT Committee are passionate about supporting LGBTIQ people and allies in Parliament, and we are working to make LGBTIQ role models more visible and accessible across the organisation. We also provide a welcoming social forum and informal support network. Thank you very much to anyone that nominated us.”
In October 2014 ParliOUT was also named as the Best Employee Network by Pink News.
ParliOUT provides a welcoming social forum and informal support network for people from across Parliament. Alongside Parliament’s other Workplace Equality Networks (ParliREACH, Parliagender and ParliAble), ParliOUT strives to create a supportive and inclusive working environment by providing support, guidance, educational and networking opportunities to all staff and Members of both Houses of Parliament.
Since the Network was founded in December 2010 it has hosted many different events from film screenings to guest speaker events on subjects as diverse as Coming Out at Work through to Transgender People in the Workplace. ParliOUT also launched its own advice and guidance service which can offer confidential advice to anyone working in Parliament regardless of sexual orientation or job role. In the last 12 months, they have launched their Twitter channel and facilitated a leadership programme for LGBT people.
More information on ParliOUT can be found here: http://bit.ly/1vOQBP9
The House of Commons has received its result in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index for 2015 and we are delighted to inform you that we have risen 29 places to rank 126th out of 397 participating employers.
The Workplace Equality Index is an effective way to measure efforts to tackle discrimination and create an inclusive workplace for lesbian, gay and bisexual employees. Since 2005, more than 800 major employers have taken part in the Index using Stonewall’s criteria as a model for good practice. Stonewall revises the Index criteria every three years.
ParliOUT members are thanked for completing the anonymous survey, as well as their contribution to making parliament a more inclusive employer and service provider. We still have a lot of work to do but this proves that we continue to move in the right direction.
Anne Foster, Head of Diversity and Inclusion.
Nominations are now open for the 2015 Researcher of the Year Awards.
Nominations close on 14 January 2015, so get a move on and nominate your researcher now!
Full details here: http://www.rotyawards.co.uk/
Here’s what they say about it:
All staff working in a research or casework capacity for an MP or a Peer, from parliamentary or constituency offices, can be nominated to win an award. The Awards are intended to promote the extremely valuable role played by all individuals working for parliamentarians.
In line with our drive to encompass all Parliamentary staff, we are delighted to announce a brand new category for this year’s awards programme; In-House Staff Member of the Year Award. The Award aims to celebrate the end of the fifty fifth Parliament and give those who currently work in a research or casework capacity for an MP or Peer a chance to nominate a person or team employed by The House. Please visit the categories page to view the specifications.
All winners will receive a prize to the sum of £50. The Overall Researcher of the Year will also win the latest iPad, courtesy of the Federation of Small Businesses.
“Parliamentary researchers have a range of tasks – they keep their bosses – MPs and peers – informed, on time and fully briefed. These awards celebrate the vital work they do supporting MPs and peers in their duties both in parliament and in constituencies across the country. They are an opportunity for parliamentarians to show their appreciation for their staff. As this parliament comes to a close, this year the awards will also recognise the work of Parliament’s own staff, from the library, the table office, the vote office and many others. They are the support network that is to vital to helping researchers and MPs do their jobs.”
Tony Grew, PoliticsHome
There are some training courses which have been arranged specifically for Members’ staff, for which there have been very few bookings so far. If numbers do not significantly increase, they will have to be cancelled.
If you would like to reserve a place on any of the courses listed below please let Genna Mohammed know by close of play on Tuesday 21 October. She can be reached on ext. 1422 or at email@example.com
Mental Health Awareness
– 20 November 2014, 10.00 – 16.30 (London)
– 9 December 2014, 10.00 – 16.30 (Birmingham)
– 13 & 14 November 2014, 9.30 – 16.30 (York) 2 day course
Personal Independence Payments
– 4 November 2014, 9.30 – 16.30 (Manchester)
– 4 December 2014, 9.30 – 16.30 (London)
– 19 November 2014, 9.30 – 12.30 (London)
The Web and Intranet Service are looking for Members and their staff to tell us what they need from Parliament’s intranet.
We’re building on the results of the MySociety report into Parliamentary digital and looking to find out what members most need from an intranet. The Web and Intranet Service are following the lead of the Government Digital Service and addressing users’ needs first.
The intranet needs work to meet the needs of members of both houses as well as staff and to do this we’re going to start with Commons Members.
We want to talk to as many MPs and members’ staff as we can, either in groups or individually. Sessions will last no longer than 40 mins.
We will be running sessions to talk to constituency staff on the constituency open day in July.
If you have any questions, please contact Rob Truelove in the Web and Intranet Service
Over the weekend, PICT has carried out an upgrade to the computer system. If you didn’t print out the instructions last week, then you might be having difficulty logging in today. Here’s what you need to do:
- Turn on your computer.
- If you’re on the VPN, log into the VPN (if you’re on the Parliamentary Estate, this probably doesn’t apply to you)
- Wait for five minutes without opening any applications at all. Now is a good time to make that cup of tea or open the post.
- Shut down your computer completely, then switch it on and log in again.
- Open Outlook and wait for a short while.
- When you get the login box, delete the pre-filled username and enter your full Parliamentary email address (that’s the one which is firstname.lastname@example.org, not firstnamelastname@)
- Tick the ‘remember my credentials’ box
- Click OK.
If you can’t see any shared calendars, it might be because the person you’re sharing with hasn’t completed the above steps yet.
You may find that it takes quite a while for all your Outlook folders to update fully, so please just leave Outlook running for half an hour before you think about ringing PICT for help. The folders will appear, eventually. You may need to close Outlook and then re-open it for everything to appear.
Follow the same procedure for the Office Communicator, putting your full Parliamentary email address in both the sign-in address field and the user name field.
Hopefully, once you have followed these steps, everything should work correctly.
‘Google Alerts‘ are a simple way to monitor the Internet for subjects in which you have a particular interest. For example, you might like to know whenever your MP’s name appears online, or a certain topic arises in conjunction with their name.
Google Alerts lets you set up a search which will then email you whenever your chosen search terms appear online. You can choose to be emailed as-it-happens, once a day or once a week.
You may need to tweek your search terms at first, particularly if you search on a common name, for example ‘John Smith’, by adding the constituency name, or telling it not to return results containing particular trigger words. So for example, your initial search could be:
“John Smith” parliament
but if there’s an MP called John Smith, say in Australia, you could then amend the search to read
“John Smith” parliament -Australia
and so on.
You can set up as many alerts as you like, and can customise them by choosing in which languages it searches and where in the world you want the results to come from.
Have a look at the Google Alerts page for more information: http://www.google.co.uk/alerts