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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…

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The price of postage stamps will rise on 1 January 2021

The prices of Royal Mail postage stamps will rise on 1 January 2021. A first-class stamp for a standard letter will rise from 76p to 85p A second-class stamp for a standard letter will rise from 65p to 66p A first-class stamp for a large letter will rise £1.15 to £1.29 A second-class stamp for…

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⚠️ ICGS 18 month review survey deadline this Friday

The deadline for responding to the ICGS 18 month review survey is this Friday – 4 December 2020. If you have not already done so, please give your views about the scheme online here  ICGS 18 month review survey  You can read more about the review here: http://www.w4mp.org/2020/11/18/important-icgs-18-month-review-survey/

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Early years funding (England) – Research Briefing

This House of Commons Library Briefing provides a short overview of early years funding in England since the introduction of the new national early years funding formula from 2017-18. https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-8052/

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Coping with Infertility whilst working in Parliament – Wellness Working Group Virtual Meeting

Coping with Infertility whilst working in Parliament Wellness Working Group Virtual Meeting Anya Sizer from David Lammy’s Office has very kindly volunteered to be a guest speaker at our next virtual meeting. Not only is Anya a busy parliamentary colleague but she is also the Regional Co-ordinator for the Fertility Network UK and has over…

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Wellness Working Group – new intranet page

The Wellness Working Group has a new intranet page, and you can find it here: https://intranet.parliament.uk/people-offices/offices-departments/commons-departments/hr-finance/members-staff-wellness-working-group The Wellness Working Group (WWG) is a cross party group of MPs’ staff which aims to place a greater focus on staff welfare and improve support for the well-being of members’ staff both on and off the Parliamentary Estate.

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Disability discrimination – Research Briefing

This House of Commons Library briefing provides an overview of disability discrimination law and explains legal duties to consider the needs of disabled people. Read the research briefing here: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-9061/

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Protecting access to cash – HoC Library Research Briefing

Cash remains a key payment method for more vulnerable people, but its wider use is in decline, accelerated by the pandemic. How will Government and industry protect access to cash? Read the House of Commons Library Briefing here: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-9054/

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Loot Boxes in Video Games – Research Briefing

Another research briefing from the House of Commons Library: Loot Boxes in Video Games In September 2020, the Government launched a call for evidence into the impact of loot boxes on gambling-like behaviour. This Library Paper gives a brief overview of loot boxes, what the law says, and concerns that have been raised. You can…

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A Short Guide to Police Complaints

The House of Commons Library has produced a research briefing for MPs and their staff to help them to deal with casework involving dissatisfaction with the police including: understanding the police complaints system where to find further information about police complaints how to help constituents make complaints how to help constituents who have already made…

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ICGS – Annual Review

The Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS) second Annual Review has been published.  You can find further information here: http://www.w4mp.org/w4mp/w4mp-guides/support-in-your-job/harassment-involving-mps-and-staff/icgs-annual-review-2020/

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WWG Talk – Nature and Wellbeing: Looking after Yourself – and nature

Nature and Wellbeing: Looking after Yourself – and nature Tuesday 24th November 2020 2pm – 3pm Dom Higgins, Head of Health and Education for The Wildlife Trusts, will talk about why nature is so important for our health and wellbeing. He will be sharing some of the evidence that shows why we feel happier when…

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Important – ICGS 18 month review survey

Please see below the message from the Independent Reviewer of the UK Parliament Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme.  You can read more about the scheme here: http://www.w4mp.org/w4mp/w4mp-guides/support-in-your-job/harassment-involving-mps-and-staff/ The independent 18-month review of UK Parliament’s Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS) is examining the operation of the Scheme to date, specifically the bullying and harassment and…

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House of Commons trends

The House of Commons Library has produced a full briefing on its series on House of Commons trends.  It looks at statistics on the working and procedures of the House of Commons.  It looks at the composition of the Commons, the Parliamentary mechanisms, time spent on different types of business and staffing among other things.…

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How to apply for a military medal

Constituents may contact their Member of Parliament seeking advice on military medals.  The House of Commons Library has produced a briefing providing information on eligibility for military medals and how to apply. You can find it here: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-7190/

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Coronavirus: Returning to Work

The Commons Library has published a Briefing Paper discussing issues relating to returning to work. It provides an overview of relevant health and safety law and a discussion of Government guidance on working safely in the context of Covid-19. It also includes a discussion of the positions in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This is…

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UK terrorism threat level raised to ‘severe’

The UK’s terrorism threat level has been raised from “substantial” to “severe.  You can learn more about this on the BBC News website here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-54799377 Please make sure that you read the guidance on the Parliamentary intranet: https://intranet.parliament.uk/business-news/news-current-issues/news/2020/november/the-uks-terrorism-threat-level/ and read the ‘Run, Hide, Tell’ guidance here: https://www.npcc.police.uk/StaySafeAssets/FINAL%20MPS168715%20Run%20Tell%20Hide%20A5%20Lflt%20Blk%20Eng%20v3.pdf

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Help with your office technology

Whether yours is a new office, or a long-standing one, the Parliamentary Digital Service (PDS) can help you to set up your office technology. You are entitled to computer equipment loaned to you by Parliament for the duration of your MP’s term and PDS can also provide a broadband service for your office. They also…

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It’s Parliament Week..

UK Parliament Week is an annual festival taking place from 1-7 November, that engages people across the country with their UK Parliament, explores what it means to them and empowers them to get involved. This year marks ten years of UK Parliament Week. It is a great opportunity to be part of a thriving democracy and…

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Do you need help setting up Teams/Virtual Surgeries?

Many MPs’ offices are now conducting virtual advice surgeries.  If you would like to set these up and don’t know how, PDS is offering coaching on Teams and Virtual Surgeries.  Just fill in this form to book: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=nt3mHDeziEC-Xo277ASzSpNZ8JcnVndEsszEQkPPu6FUN0hOVDNYREIyMFo5U05OQk1WUzJJRzcyRCQlQCN0PWcu  

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Verification of Social Media accounts

The Members’ Security Support Service (MSSS) is able to assist you with getting your Member’s social media accounts verified.  This will mean that a blue tick will be shown against the username of the account. Why is this important? Simply put, it shows that you are who you say you are. MPs are often the…

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Face Coverings on the Parliamentary Estate

(as of October 16) Posters are now in place to strongly encourage all colleagues to wear face coverings when moving around the estate and in areas where social distancing is difficult. Two metre social distancing must continue to be followed wherever possible. Please be mindful that some people are exempt from wearing face coverings for…

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Free online talks and tours of Parliament

As it’s not possible to have physical tours of Parliament at the moment, why not book a free online talk or tour? Topics range from the historic furniture collection, to how Parliament works, to the Gunpowder Plot. Click here to book tickets: https://bit.ly/34ZuMR8

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Virtual IT Coaching Sessions for MPs’ Staff

PDS are offering virtual IT coaching sessions to MPs’ staff   PDS local engagement officers would normally travel to visit constituencies to assist MPs and their staff with training and general IT concerns but during the Covid 19 crisis their focus has changed to offer this support remotely.    You can now book a remote…

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Thursday 29 October – Q&A session on services and support for Members’ staff

The Members’ Services Team is running a phone-in Q&A session for MPs’ staff on Thursday 29 October at 2pm.  This will take place over MS Teams – please email the Members’ Services Team for the link The areas we can cover include: Support for returning to the workplace HR services Learning and Development Office and…

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Please wear your mask!

It’s absolutely vital that everyone who is able to do so, should wear a mark whilst in communal or shared areas of the Parliamentary estate, such as the Portcullis House atrium. Those who can work remotely should continue to do so. For full guidance, please visit the Coronavirus Hub here: https://intranet.parliament.uk/employment/health-and-wellbeing/coronavirus-hub/  

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Coronavirus Hub on the intranet

Have you looked at the Coronavirus Hub on the Parliamentary intranet recently? The Hub is where you can find all the latest information about Parliament’s response to the Coronavirus and links to guidance and other contacts. https://intranet.parliament.uk/employment/health-and-wellbeing/coronavirus-hub/

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The Fortnight – Issue 15 out now

Issue 15 of The Fortnight has been published on the intranet here: https://intranet.parliament.uk/Documents/Fortnight/Fortnight-issue-15.pdf The Fortnight keeps you informed of service changes, key contacts and activity on the estate that will affect MPs, their staff and about Administration Committee decisions on services we all use. In this issue: Book in for a flu jab Changes to…

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Has your Member completed the Members’ Customer Satisfaction Survey yet?

Has your Member completed the Members’ Customer Satisfaction Survey yet? The annual survey is currently live and Members will have received an email with a link to the survey. It’s really important that Members give their feedback on the House of Commons services, as this information is used to identify where things are going well,…

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Security forms – technical issues with electronic PDFs

PSD are aware of some technical issues with the electronic PDF forms, which are being looked at as a matter of urgency. In the meantime, please see this guidance on the intranet for details and workarounds: https://intranet.parliament.uk/Documents/Security/Helpful-hints-and-top-tips-to-completing-your-PDF-form.pdf

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Balfour Project Peace Advocacy Fellowship 2020-21

The Balfour Project seeks an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on justice and equal rights. Acknowledging Britain’s continuing historical responsibilities, it works through popular education and advocacy to persuade the British Government to recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel and uphold equal rights. Following a successful pilot last academic year,…

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Making the Parliamentary estate a COVID-19 secure workplace

The House of Commons has produced a briefing for Members about the changes made to ensure that the parliamentary estate is a COVID-19 secure workplace. Any staff who can work remotely should continue to do so, rather than returning to the estate, or their constituency offices. You can view the briefing here: https://intranet.parliament.uk/Documents/Members%20Pack_June%202020_V2.pdf For more…

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MP Staff: NFU photo competition – Win a Great British Food hamper

The NFU are running a ‘love your countryside’ photo competition for parliamentary staffers where the winner will receive a Great British Food Hamper, which includes a bottle of English wine, a selection of cheeses, pies, truffles and fudge; the runner-up will also receive a hamper of delectable British goodies. To enter, please send the following…

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Facebook scam warning

It’s been brought to our attention that several MPs have received a message in their Facebook notifications, saying that their page has been reported and asking them to click on a link to ‘repair’ their page. DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK! This is a known scam and could result in malware being downloaded to…

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Banner – Equipment for returning to the workplace

Our office supplier, Banner, has published a catalogue of equipment to allow MPs and staff to return to the workplace safely, including: preparing the building equipping the workforce controlling access to sites implementing a social distancing plan reducing virus transfer You can view the catalogue here: https://www.easyflip.co.uk/BannerReturntotheWorkplace/

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Daily Update 31/07/2020

The total deaths as a result of Coronavirus now stand at 46,119, an increase of 120 as of today.  According to the ONS, daily Coronavirus cases in England have risen from 3,200 last week to 4,200. These findings are based on tests of households in England, excluding care homes and hospitals. The ONS estimates that…

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Daily Update 30/07/2020

The total deaths as a result of Coronavirus now stands at 45,961, an increase of 83 as of today.  According to the ONS the UK has recorded the highest level of excess deaths amongst European countries with 6.9% more excess deaths in the country as a whole and 7.5% more in England. Spain and Belgium…

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Daily Update 28/07/2020

The total deaths as a result of Coronavirus now stands at 45.874, an increase of 119 as of today.  The National Institute for Economics and Social Research has published a study which shows that UK unemployment could rise to 10% when the government ends the furlough scheme. According to NIESR’s research, many of the jobs…

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Daily Update 27/07/2020

The total deaths as a result of Coronavirus now stands at 45,756, an increase of 7 as of today.  Surges in the number of infections across Europe have forced countries to implement stricter restrictions on travellers. On Saturday the UK government announced that Britons on holiday in Spain would be required to isolate for two-weeks…

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Training courses available in a virtual classroom

As it is not currently possible to present training courses in a traditional face-to-face classroom setting, the Learning and Development Team have made some courses available online in a virtual classroom. You can view details of the available courses here: https://parliament.learningpool.com/course/view.php?id=1590 Titles available include: Courageous Conversations Handling Challenging Situations Prospering in Turbulent Times Supporting Teams…

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NEW: Labour Women’s Parliamentary Staff Network

The newly-formed Labour Women’s Parliamentary Staff Network (LWPSN) has been set up to connect Labour women staffers. Please see here for details and information on how to join: Labour Women’s Parliamentary Staff Network (LWPSN) http://www.w4mp.org/library/2010-guide-to-working-for-an-mp-for-new-staff/groups-which-staff-can-join/representation/labour-womens-parliamentary-staff-network/   Check out other groups staff can join here: http://www.w4mp.org/library/2010-guide-to-working-for-an-mp-for-new-staff/groups-which-staff-can-join/

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Daily Update 24/07/2020

The total deaths as a result of Coronavirus now stand at 45,677, an increase of 123 as of today.  The number of people infected by Coronavirus in the UK has stopped decreasing. There are currently 2,000 people infected with the virus who are not in hospitals or care homes, according to the ONS. This data…

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Daily Update 23/07/2020

The total death toll as a result of Coronavirus now stands at 45, 554, an increase of 53 as of today.  Face masks will be mandatory in shops across England from tomorrow. Although shoppers will be required to wear face masks, they will not be compulsory for staff. The European Union’s head negotiate Michel Barnier…

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POST – Rapid response content on COVID-19

The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) has recent published several new reports relating to COVID-19.  If you’d like to sign up to the POST email newsletter, please go here: https://mailchi.mp/email.parliament.uk/post COVID-19, children and schools Children who have COVID-19 are much less likely to develop severe symptoms and much less likely to die from…

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Daily Update 21/07/2020

The total deaths as a result of Coronavirus now stands at 45,422, an increase of 110 as of today.  UK public sector workers are to receive a pay increase of up to 3.1%. In a statement Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, said that “these past months have underlined what we always knew – that our public…

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Daily Update 20/07/2020

The total deaths as a result of Coronavirus now stand at 45,312, an increase of 11 as of today.  Britain has a signed deals to purchase three prospective vaccines to help combat Coronavirus. The government has purchased 30 million doses of a possible Coronavirus vaccine from the pharmaceutical companies BioNtech and Pfizer; acquired 100 million…

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Daily Update 17/07/2020

The total deaths as a result of Coronavirus now stands at 45,233, an increase of 114 as of today.  Boris Johnson has encouraged Britons to prepare for a steady return to work as official guidelines on workplaces and the use of public transport are set to change from August 1. From August 1 workers will…

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Daily Update 16/07/2020

Official employment figures reveal that the number of people on employer payrolls decreased by 649,000 between March, when the lockdown started, and June. Unemployment has not increased dramatically, however, because many employers have put their staff on the government’s furlough scheme. Job vacancies are at their lowest since records began in 2001 at an estimated…

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Health Assured webinar

How much do you know about the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)? Are you aware that Health Assured provide a confidential support service that Members’ staff can access? They can provide help with issues such as: Health and wellbeing information Stress at home or work Family and relationship problems Financial issues including debt Legal and consumer…

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Daily Update 14/07/2020

The total deaths as a result of Coronavirus now stands at 44,968, an increase of 138 as of today.  A major study has found that Coronavirus outbreaks are 20 times more likely in large care homes then small ones. Of the 55,000 people that have died of Coronavirus according to the ONS’ numbers, 40% of…

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