HMRC has yesterday morning issued an intranet announcement giving a short update on the progress of the two private sector providers, Sitel and Teleperformance, in the delivery of call handling services.
We welcome acknowledgement that HMRC staff in contact centres operate to a high standard, are good at their jobs and provide a better quality service than the private sector. However, PCS remains concerned that this trial represents an opening of the door to further involvement of the private sector.
In any event it makes no sense to spend millions of pounds on a trial of the private sector when, in the longer term, that money would be better invested by making TFTAs permanent and bringing those jobs in Bathgate and Lilyhall back in-house. We worry that a race to the bottom mentality is beginning to develop, where private sector workers are brought in on inferior pay, terms and conditions to administer ‘less important’ calls.
PCS remains opposed to the involvement of the private sector in HMRC contact centres. We call on the department to reach a negotiated settlement on this issue which brings an end to the involvement of private sector companies in HMRC.