Staff catering discount scheme given the go-ahead by the House of Commons Commission

We are delighted that the union branch’s proposal to introduce a catering discount/loyalty scheme for MPs’ staff has got the go-ahead, after the House of Commons Commission backed the proposal in their response to the House Administration Committee’s report into catering service which was published this week.

Back in May in its report on catering and retail services in the House of Commons, the House Administration Committee recommended the introduction of “a staff loyalty or discount scheme to benefit the lower paid staff of Members and the House, with the specific intention of encouraging back customers who appear to have been lost as a result of the price increases”.

This recommendation followed both written and oral evidence submitted by the union branch, which argued that MPs’ staff had been disproportionately affected by the recent catering price increases as average salaries are low. The branch gave evidence that MPs’ staff were increasingly purchasing their lunch off the Estate and recommended the introduction of a staff loyalty or discount scheme to bring them back by making food on the Estate more affordable.

Now the House of Commons Commission has given the green light for a scheme to go ahead, saying in their published response:

CRS (Catering and Retail Services) will implement customer loyalty schemes, discounting and other promotional offers as necessary to maintain footfall and deliver the agreed savings, and will consult with the Committee on means of delivering benefit to lower paid staff.

Chair Max Freedman said:

“We are very pleased that our proposal for a staff loyalty or discount scheme for MPs’ staff now has the backing of both the House of Commons Administration Committee and the House of Commons Commission.

“MPs’ staff have been hit hard by the recent catering price increases as the majority of us are on low incomes. Many of our members have been bringing their own lunch or purchasing food off the Estate as it has become too expensive to purchase on the Estate. A staff loyalty or discount scheme will go a long way towards bringing people back.

“We look forward to seeing the details of the scheme and working with the House authorities to make sure it is effective and a good deal for MPs’ staff. We will make sure our members are kept up to date with developments.”

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