Documents to download


On 22 June 2022, the House of Commons agreed to appoint a Speaker’s Conference to “consider the employment conditions of Members’ staff in order to ensure a more inclusive and respectful working environment”.

The resolution to set up the Speaker’s Conference confirmed it would be chaired by the Speaker and that he would appoint up to 14 members, all MPs. The Speaker can appoint one or more members to act as vice-Chair in his absence.

The membership of the Speaker’s Conference was announced on 19 October 2022 and is listed on the Conference webpages.

The Speaker’s Conference’s first report (PDF) was published on 31 October 2022. It provided an overview of how MPs’ staff are currently employed and funded; the support provided to MPs in their role as an employer; some comparisons with the way in which MPs’ staff are employed in other legislatures; and reviewed the development of staff support for MPs.

The report set out the principles that would underpin the work of the Speaker’s Conference. It set the Speaker’s Conference’s terms of reference and a call for evidence for the next stage of its work. The deadline for written submissions was 9 December 2022.


The Speaker’s Conference’s second report (PDF) was published on 20 July 2023.

It concluded that MPs should continue to be the employers of their staff.

It said that Parliament should champion the work undertaken by MPs’ staff. The failure to do this was demoralising and had a debilitating impact on staff. It said the situation would “only be improved in any meaningful sense by creating a culture which recognises and values the work that they do and makes these staff feel part of the wider Parliamentary community”.

It proposed an expansion of the Members’ Services Team to better support MPs in their human resource functions and to provide guidance for MPs’ staff. The Speaker’s Conference recommended creating a new restorative practice service for staff to resolve workplace disputes with their employer. To reflect these changes, the team should be renamed the Members’ and Members’ Staff Services Team.

The Speaker’s Conference also called on IPSA, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, to make changes to its Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses. The Speaker’s Conference highlighted concerns that when a member of staff moves jobs from one MP’s office to another, there is no continuity of employment.

Debate on the report and implementation of the recommendations

The Speaker’s Conference expected its report to be debated and then the House of Commons Commission “to establish an implementation team to deliver as many of the recommendations set out in this report as possible before the next General Election”.

MPs debated the report on 16 November 2023 and endorsed the Speaker’s Conference’s recommendations.

IPSA’s response to the recommendations the Speaker’s Conference addressed to it (PDF) was published on 13 November 2023.

At its meeting on 15 January 2024, the House of Commons Commission agreed the membership of an implementation team (PDF) to oversee and deliver the Conference’s recommendations before the end of this Parliament.

Previous Speaker’s Conferences

There have been six previous Speaker’s Conferences.

The first five conferences were established to attempt to seek cross-party agreement to franchise and electoral reform, including redistribution of seats.

The last conference, in 2008-09, concerned parliamentary representation. Its reports are available on the parliamentary website:

The Library research briefing, Speaker’s Conferences, gives the background to the previous Speaker’s Conferences.

Review of the employment of MPs’ staff (2009)

In April 2009, the House agreed with a government proposal that MPs’ staff should be employed by the House and referred the matter to the House of Commons Commission to make recommendations on implementing the decision.

Although the Commission set out recommendations for implementing the House’s proposals, in its report, Employment of Members’ staff by the House (PDF), it did not commend its scheme to the House, instead, it said that “Our preference would be for the House (or if appropriate the IPSA) instead to give greater support to Members as employers”.

Documents to download

Related posts