Job sharing for MPs

(38 Posts)
Deborah451 Wed 03-Aug-11 12:00:22

Please support the campaign to allow MPs to job share. More information at www.elocalnews.org.uk.

If MPs are allowed to job share then other occupations will follow. Job sharing makes it easier for parents of children, carers and disabled people to become MPs. Please write to your MP and ask her or him to support the idea. Maria Miller MP, Minister for Disabled People, is considering the issue at the moment. She is working on a consultation paper called 'Access to elected office for disabled people' which looks at ways to increase the number of disabled people in politics.

mollymole Wed 03-Aug-11 12:01:25

bloody hell - 2 lots of allowances to be milked !!! think not

I'll support it.

Deborah451 Wed 03-Aug-11 12:29:24

There would only be one salary and one set of allowances between the two job sharers.

ChrisPBacon Wed 03-Aug-11 12:38:19

What about a declaration of interest from you personally Deborah'first time poster on this thread only'451?

Are you a parliamentary researcher?
Are you an MPs family member?
Are you an MP?

Why do you think we should do what you say?

What are you getting out of it personally?

Why should we trust you?

Why do you think we should get involved in this amazingly convoluted and misbegotten 'campaign'?

Deborah451 Wed 03-Aug-11 13:11:23

I am not an MP, paid Parliamentary researcher or an MPs family member. I have contacted MPs about this issue and sent a 300 signature petition in support of job sharing for MPs to the Government Equalities Office. I collected signatures for the petition from the Women's Institute, a local advice agency, a local Mosque, my local Church, a branch of MIND and our local Tescos superstore. An overwhelming majority of people thought it was a sensible idea and signed the petition.

What I would get out of it personally is a more democratic system for electing a Parliament which is truly representative of the population.

Please look at the leaflet on www.elocalnews.org.uk.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities creates a right to work on the same basis as others (see Articles 27 and 29 of the Convention http://www.un.org/disabilities/documents/convention/convoptprot-e.pdf)

This means reasonable adjustments need to be made to enable full
participation by disabled people in politics and the labour market.

The job sharing concept is simple, not convoluted. If more posts were to be open to job sharing then more jobs would be created. In times of recession we need more jobs to be made available.

notcitrus Wed 03-Aug-11 18:36:36

What barriers are there currently to MPs jobsharing?
Is there actual law saying only one MP may be elected, and has this ever been challenged to argue that a jobshare is one MP?
I was under the impression that candidates jobsharing could stand but no pair had ever been chosen by a party as a candidate, but I could well be totally wrong!

Deborah451 Thu 04-Aug-11 15:27:37

If you look at the leaflet on www.elocalnews.org.uk you will see the law on MPs and job sharing is set out in some detail. One pair of candidates tried to stand to be job sharing Members of the Scottish Parliament but they were refused. One half of the pair took the case to the Employment Appeal Tribunal but lost the case. It needs legislation to change the law to enable MPs and MSPs to job share.

likale Thu 04-Aug-11 15:32:50

Its an unworkable idea, what happens when the two people jobsharing disagree on an issue.

Deborah451 Sat 06-Aug-11 11:42:39

Only one half of the job sharing pair would vote. The vast majority of votes in
Parliament are on the basis of ‘whips’ or orders from a political party based on
an election manifesto. This means there would be no difference in voting
between the two job sharing MPs on party issues.

Conscience votes – MPs rarely set out in their election leaflets how they would vote on conscience issues. So if there were to be a vote without a whip on a conscience matter, job sharing MPs could toss a coin to decide who voted, if they did not both have the same view. Alternatively they could agree to abstain as their views would cancel each other out. All MPs should be encouraged to put in their election leaflets details of conscience matters, which they tend not to at present.

Under the current system, for example, I don't know how John Randall, my MP, will vote if there is a debate on the death penalty. So I am no worse off than if the constituency was held by job sharers.

Deborah451 Fri 19-Aug-11 10:46:59

I am hoping to get a resolution via the Women's Institute, the wording of which is: “The NFWI urges Her Majesty’s government to change the law to allow Members of Parliament to serve on a job share basis”.

If anyone else reading this is a W.I member then please contact info@elocalnews.org.uk if you want help completing the resolution papers which need to be submitted by 16th September 2011.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 19-Aug-11 10:55:45

Terrible idea. MP is not a 'job' to be shared. They are elected representatives of their constituency on a 24/7 basis for the length of their tenure. Job-sharing would not make it any easier for women to become MPs either. 'Toss a coin to decide who votes?'.... what a mealy-mouthed pile of horseshit.

Deborah451 Fri 16-Sep-11 12:42:46

Many people think it would be easier for women to become MPs if they could job share - listen to this Women's Hour piece for more debate:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/womanshour/02/2010_10_tue.shtml

Deborah451 Fri 16-Sep-11 12:44:08

Allow MPs to serve on a job share basis is the subject of an epetition - you can sign up at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/17076

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 16-Sep-11 12:49:23

'Many people' think all kinds of things. Doesn't make it a better idea.

Deborah451 Wed 21-Mar-12 14:06:54

Sir Richard Branson supports job sharing initiatives.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs/9141729/Sir-Richard-Branson-in-call-to-subsidise-job-sharing.html

andisa Wed 21-Mar-12 14:12:32

Think job sharing allows more people access to power and careers. Being a part time mum, I feel undervalued, promotion not really an option. Women and men who share work with childcare and disabled people should have more access to decision making - so I'm for it. 2 often gets more work than one anyway.

EdithWeston Wed 21-Mar-12 18:16:38

Being an MP is not a job in the normal sense.

It is a representational role and one in which both the party line, but crucially also the individual conscience, plays a part in any specific vote. I would not be interested in having two half-representatives and no way of knowing who might be in the House for any specific issue.

delurked Wed 21-Mar-12 19:32:39

I'm afraid I don't think this would work. Apart from anything else, it's very unlikely that it would in fact work as a classic job share in the sense of each employee working half of full time hours. MPs, despite public perceptions, work very hard, with very long hours, and the work simply expands to fill whatever time is available. In my opinion a job share post would mean that a constituency would in fact end up with 2 full time MPs representing them - ok, so they wouldn't both be able to vote, but that is not the only way that MPs can influence policy - e.g. sidling up to Ministers, working on Committees etc. So a constituency with a job share arrangement would actually be at a distinct advantage as it would have twice the MP "manpower".

Deborah451 Fri 23-Mar-12 14:59:06

One reason why we need job sharing is that the House of Commons is not representative of the electorate. The House of Commons has 650 MPs. Of these 650, there are 504 male MPs, so women are under seriously under represented.

There are 27 MPs of Black and Minority Ethnic origin, but there would
need to be 55 - 60 BME MPs to be representative of the BME population.

There are only a handful of disabled MPs but there would need to be
65 disabled MPs to represent the number of disabled people in the population.

It would be easier for business people and retired members of the armed forces who are disabled to become MPs if there was job sharing.

Deborah451 Fri 23-Mar-12 15:00:53

The vast majoirty of votes are taken on the basis of party policy so it would not matter who was in the House for any specific issue.

MrPants Mon 26-Mar-12 11:17:08

How would I vote out one half of the job share?

Deborah451 Fri 30-Mar-12 17:38:46

John McDonnell MP is presenting a 10 Minute Rule Bill on job sharing and MPs in June 2012. Please write to your MP and ask him or her to support it.

Please Mr Pants explain what you mean in more detail and I will try and answer. How would you vote depends on the election manifesto you have presented to the electorate. If it is a conscience issue then vote according to your conscience. If two job sharing MPs disagreed on a conscience issue their votes would cancel each other out. Thus they could decide not to vote at all or choose one to vote even though the other disagreed. This is likley to be rare and does not outweigh the case for job sharing. We need more diversity in the House of Commons.

MrPants Sat 31-Mar-12 00:56:36

Deborah451 I see the main benefit of democracy to lie with the ability of a population to rid itself of an unpopular government. In this, I may be wrong but, my observations seem to hold true of the elections which swapped Major for Blair and Brown for the current coalition. Needless to say that this principle extends to include the ability to get rid of unpopular, ineffective or otherwise crap representatives; under the British system, that would mean constituency MP's.

What if, part way through a political cycle, one half of your job share did something which meant that they wouldn't get your vote at the next election? Using a real life example, what would you do if person 1 has done a fine job, but person 2 has done the sort of thing that Chris Huhne stands accused of? How would you indicate on your ballot paper that you are still (for the purposes of the argument) a Lib-Dem supporter but don't like one half of the job share?

Also, a job share might be OK for a constituency MP, but there is no way you could have a job share cabinet minister.

Deborah451 Mon 02-Apr-12 11:16:09

The House of Commons Information service provided me with details of an MP who does think Cabinet posts can be job shared:

Debate
Date of Proceeding: 22.03.2011
Reference: 525 c185-6WH
Member: MacLeod, Mary
Title: Promotion of Women in Business

"My hon. Friend makes an excellent point. If there were job sharing in politics-there is no reason why the role of MP or Cabinet Minister could not involve a job share-we would show that we have made a real difference and made ground, and that there is no reason why that cannot happen in business."

Auntiestablishment Tue 03-Apr-12 07:32:20

Could we have one locally doing the useful stuff (i.e. constituency work) and one in Westminster playing politics doing the representative bit?
That would be good: better for the MPs' work/life balance if they're not having to work in 2 places at once.

EdithWeston Tue 03-Apr-12 08:07:27

AuntieEstablishment: surely that is what already exists, in the MP/agent arrangement. One MP as representative, but others doing the heavy lifting of the constituency work.

Auntiestablishment Tue 03-Apr-12 08:28:27

I dunno what an agent does, but the MP has to go to the constituency, have surgeries, open fetes, visit old people's homes, etc. A job-share with one person permanently based in the constituency, having responsibility for that but not having to combine it with the Westminster village rubbish representation would be good for both job-share partners. And no worse for constituents, as MPs never represent their constituents' views in Parliament anyway.

Deborah451 Wed 04-Apr-12 14:34:40

Find out what the Labour whips said to Margaret Hodge when she suggested job sharing for MPs - would she get the same response today?

http://www.parliamentaryradio.co.uk/newsrelease.html

see broadcast dated 30 October 2011

Please write to your MP and ask him or her to support John McDonnell's 10 minute rule bill in June 2012 to change the law to enable MPs to serve on a job share basis.

Deborah451 Fri 25-May-12 10:29:28

Caroline Lucas MP has recorded a new video supporting job sharing for MPs
- please write to your MP and ask them to support the bill
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rljev-8kOf0&feature=youtube_gdata_player

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 25-May-12 11:16:15

There is no shortage of women that want to run for MP with the present working conditions. I think it's patronising to assume that women will only go for a job if they can do it part-time. I also think it's ridiculous to assume that if these 'mini MPs' were created, they would automatically be filled by female candidates... selection committees don't work that way. In business, part-time or job-sharing only works at levels where someone can hand over a fairly straightforward, repetitive task and there's not too much decision-making required. Running the country is not one of those tasks.

Deborah451 Fri 01-Jun-12 14:05:59

John McDonnell MP has recorded a video asking the public to contact him if they would like to be job share MPs. See:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjVNuoHvDqI

JosephineCD Sat 02-Jun-12 18:39:33

Ridiculous idea. How would people know who was their MP on any given time or day? Being an MP is a full-time, 24/7 job. It should not be something to be worked around child-care.

Deborah451 Sat 22-Sep-12 13:41:31

A new epetition on job sharing for MPs has been started as the first one time expired. Please sign up to support a law change to enable job sharing for MPs.
http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/38829

Also legal advice from the Equality and Human Rights Commission on job sharing for MPs has been posted on www.disabilitypolitics.org.uk

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 22-Sep-12 14:25:28

You still banging on about this? hmm If the last one time-expired doesn't that just mean 'no-one supported it'?...

Deborah42 Wed 17-Oct-12 09:53:19

John McDonnell MP is presenting a bill on Tuesday 20th November 2012 to seek a law change to enable MPs to job share.

A letter to The Guardian was published in September 2012 setting out some of the supporters of job sharing for MPs:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/sep/25/job-share-mps-representative

MoreBeta Wed 17-Oct-12 10:06:56

I see MPs are also pushing for a 100k a year pay packet plus expenses on top. There has been huge grumbling by MPs ever since their expenses have come under tighter scrutiny and they have constantly pushed for the rules to be relaxed and their pay and perks to be raised.

I am therefore dubious about this sudden apparent conversion to embracing family friendly policies. Any chance we might be seeing 'man and wife' MP job sharing? A lot of MPs wives act as their secretary and hence get paid all/most of the MPs allowance for staff while they hire unpaid interns to do the bulk of constituency work. I think we need to be a bit careful here. There are also going to be fewer MPs once the boundary changes happen and I can see a real danger of such an arrangement being abused.

Deborah42 Fri 16-Nov-12 10:37:46

A husband and wife could stand on a job share basis if the Bill is passed. I don't know any MPs who 'hire unpaid interns to do the bulk of the constituency work'.

The Explanatory Notes for the Bill answer a lot of questions about job sharing for MPs and can be read here: http://www.disabilitypolitics.org.uk/pdfs/enotes.pdf

The Bill itself can be read here:
http://www.disabilitypolitics.org.uk/pdfs/jsbill.pdf

Please ask your MP to attend the debate and support the Bill.

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