Here is a copy of the official announcement by Lesley Strathie (CEO of HMRC) re the office closures. The text was retyped and sent to me by a loyal reader.
As at the time of writing, I still can't find it on the HMRC site.
"Today, we have informed our people in around 130 of our buildings that we plan to stopp all business activity, apart from any enquiry centre presence, in their office in 2010/11
These changes are part of our ongoing Workforce Change programme of rationalising our estate and enable us to introduce more efficient ways of working. The decision to withdraw from these locations was previously announced in our regional review programme.
Enquiry Centre service will continue in area where they are cuurently provided.
We have started to hold discussions with those people directly affected by these decision but I want to take this opportunity to keep evryone else informed about what is happening.
Currently , there are around 3.150 HMRC people working in 130 building. Approximately 1.450 people will move to a new location, or where appropriate work in the Enquiry Centre. This will happen as soon as possible after january 13.
The remaining 1,700 staff will be declared surplus and will be given the oppotunity, where approriate, to move to another HMRC office where vacancies exist. They will also be eligble to apply for voluntary redundancy on compulsory terms. These are the best available under the Civil Service Pension Scheme.
We are committed to doing everything we can to avoid compulsory redundancies wherever possible and for those who wish to continue their Civil Service careers, we will work hard to redeploy people both within HMRC as well as other government depts and agencies.
This committment is contained in the cabinets Office;s 'protocol for Handling Surplus Staff situations' as well as our own agreement with Departmental Trade Unions.
The reality is that we have to fundamentally reassess the way we deliver services to our customers. That means a reduced workforce concentrated in fewer locations.
These difficult decisions have not been taken lightly and are no reflection on the excellent work undertaken by people in the affected location. I appreciate that the length of the Regional Review Programmer has created a period of uncertainty and that is why we have now confimed the final position of these offices, enabling those affected to make informed decisions about their future.
We will do all we can to support colleagues through this diffcult process. That means we must be prepared to help colleagues move to new areas of work where vacancies arise. Thank you in anticiaption of your support."
Tax does have to be taxing.
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