HMRC confirm more than 150 redundancies

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Chief Executive authorises 152 compulsory redundancies; Redundancy notices issued at the same time as major recruitment; Fight for your job: help build your union

Our last members briefing advised members that despite having just announced they are recruiting around 1,000 new members of staff, HMRC management were preparing the way for the issuing of compulsory redundancy notices in the department. Members were also advised that HMRC Chief Executive Lin Homer had rejected our request for a meeting to try to avoid those compulsory redundancies.

It has now been confirmed that HMRC are planning to issue 152 members of staff with compulsory redundancy notices, with those notices likely to be issued in mid-February 2016.

No need for this

With the department recruiting so many members of staff; and with management retaining the options to both move work around the office and to make a further offer of voluntary severance, there is absolutely no need for HMRC staff to be facing compulsory redundancy at this time.

So, given there is no need for the compulsory redundancy notices in the first place, do management seriously think that their assurance that they will try to find jobs for the recipients of those notices will be treated with anything other than derision?

PCS is committed to providing full support to every member facing notice of compulsory redundancy. HMRC have confirmed to PCS that staff who receive a compulsory redundancy notice are entitled to appeal that decision, and we would urge every affected member to appeal. Our legal department will carefully scrutinise HMRC’s handling of this issue; and in every instance where there is a reasonable prospect of successfully challenging this decision, we will support members in pursuing legal action.

Is HMRC really committed to Equality?

Over the last few months, PCS have consistently expressed concerns to HMRC about the disproportionately high number of disabled staff facing compulsory redundancy. We put forward clear proposals to the HMRC to avoid redundancy in respect of this group of workers. Although HMRC have never challenged our assertion, our proposals were ignored by the department. HMRC’s letters may contain the Positive about Disabled People logo, but in this instance the department’s commitment has been sadly lacking.

PCS have also complained to HMRC about a number of instances where part-time staff at risk of redundancy have been refused posts in other government departments, because those departments insist that their vacancies are filled by full-time staff.

Shape of things to come

Even using the Chief Executive’s wildly optimistic claim that under ‘Building Our Future’, 90% of affected staff will be within reasonable daily travel of the proposed new sites; that still leaves upwards of five thousand staff who – considering the department’s half-hearted commitment to avoiding redundancies here – will have no faith that management will do anything other than fire them on the cheapest terms possible.

In reality, the situation is likely to be even worse, when you factor in that even in the areas where a regional centre is planned, under the office-closure programme the proposed job-cuts could involve up to a quarter of the current workforce.

Fight for your job – help build your union

You can play your part in the PCS campaign to defend jobs and fight office closures:

  • If you know someone in your office who isn’t a member of PCS, get them to join their trade union now. They can join easily by emailing joining@pcs.org.uk or by calling free on 0800 317 464 from any landline (020 7801 2680 from a mobile)
  • Keep in touch with your union’s campaign. Make sure you read your PCS members’ briefings and attend your PCS branch members’ meetings
  • Ask your Member of Parliament to attend our drop-in at the House of Commons on 1 March 2016. You can do this easily through our e-action, which can be found on the main PCS website here.
  • If he or she hasn’t already done so, ask your MP to sign Early Day Motion (EDM) 959, which raises concerns about the impact of the office closures and calls for proper scrutiny. You can check to see if your MP has signed the EDM here.
  • Sign the petition against the office closures here.

Additionally you should make sure that you have provided PCS with your up-to-date personal email address and mobile phone number, to ensure that you get the latest information from PCS as soon as it is available. You can do this via the main PCS website, by contacting your nearest rep, or by calling our membership department free on 0800 317 464 from any landline (020 7801 2680 from a mobile).

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