HMRC has received criticism for issuing 150 compulsory redundancy notices to its staff.
HMRC claim the redundancies are just one part of the restructuring initiative that includes closing 137 tax offices by 2020. This revamp will affect over 60,000 members of staff as the government department prepares to move towards more digital administration.
It is reported that low-level administrative staff working in HMRC compliance centres, local compliance teams and debt management staff have been made aware that they will lose their jobs.
However, HMRC has received a negative response to this claiming it “is not how reasonable employers behave” and the situation is “entirely unnecessary and inflammatory”. Furthermore, large trade union The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS), threaten to strike to protest these redundancies.
A spokesperson for the government department responded to the threat of a potential strike by commenting:
“HMRC does everything possible to avoid compulsory redundancies but the reality is we no longer need the mass processing roles of the past as we move to more skilled and specialist roles.”
“We have been through a lengthy and rigorous process to deploy colleagues to other areas of work within HMRC and this work has been on-going since 2014. We have consulted with departmental trade unions to make sure that we’ve considered all possible redeployment opportunities.”
I am not sure that everyone is convinced that these redundancies are necessary especially those who have ever contacted HMRC and have been left on hold for a long period of time. As accountants, this is something that we deal with on a day to day basis.
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