HMRC Is Shite

HMRC Is Shite
Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

The Champions

My thanks to a loyal reader who wrote to me in connection with yesterday's article about Yokel Bear being reduced to tears by HMRC.

"Please pass my sympathies to Yokel Bear and his call centre woes.

I am confident that it is staff sickness that is the underlying cause of the staff attitude, but this should soon be resolved when with the new initiative heralded in HMRC’s 2009-10 Annual Accounts are fully implemented. I quote:

'An Engagement Champions Steering Group has been established, chaired by a member of the Executive Committee. This uses a comprehensive engagement dashboard to identify areas of good practice with the potential to increase levels of engagement across lines of business'.

Page 10 para 6.27

I do hope this reassures and heartens Mr Bear.

Much joy to your excellent site, which is surreptitiously followed by many senior thinking Revenue staff at home (office viewing is a capital offence), and by IR pensioners such as myself.

I am Sir your obedient servant...

Whenever I see the words "dashboard", "champions" and "engagement" in a management speak piece of BS I instinctively reach for my sickbag.

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  1. An Engagement Champions Steering Group?

    What bunch of twats came up with that one. Its sounds as bad as Working Together Steering Group or how about Angels and Dragons/Demons or the Vision.

    How did the Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise come down to this.

    No wonder people phone in sick or leave.

  2. How about Dungeons and Dragons? That was based in a fantasy land too (if I recall my cartoons correctly)

  3. There have been three people surveys since 2008. Each one had it's conclusions under certain headers. Engagement had three sets of questions that related to the engagement score, if I recall correctly.

    The question gas to be, What was being done with the data from the previous three surveys?

    There was clear identification of staff dissatisfaction with "senior management". There can be no doubt about who is "senior" as a question asked that exact thing and the vast majority answered "senior civil servant".

    So what has happened Since 2009.... Sweet FA.. The results of the people survey have deteriorated and HMRC are now rock bottom. Every other department scored better, and we gave a dashboard. How's that for increasing confidence in "senior management".

  4. "Angels and Dragons" typifies what morons HMRC managers are.

    The opposite counterpart of an Angels is a Demon not a Dragon. Lucifer and the fallen, during their long descent into the Pit, did not turn into fucking Dragons.


  5. Sorry Ken but your 'loyal reader' from today couldn't be more off the mark if they tried. If he/she read this regularly, they would know that staff sickness is not an issue. It is senior management that cause all the problems. The more junior staff are actually blocked from giving the customer service they want to provide. As for the new sickness rules, they are being brought in to get rid of people on the cheap, without paying redundancy. If you have a serious illness and are off a month, that's it, you get a threatening letter suggesting you take 'early' retirement and in the event that you do not qualify, well you can bog off anyway.

  6. 9 March 2011 16:49, A relative of mine is already waiting to here about a decision being made under the new rules.

    I would not want to be the team leader making the decision as the repercussions for them could be worse than anything the senior management can come up with.

  7. The new sick rules are exactly what it says on the tin..designed to sicken off staff and get rid of as many of them on the cheap as they can before the axe falls.
    Its probably not even legal what theyre doing..if you have the misfortune to get sick your out on your arse.
    How engaing is that.
    A blind man in a blackout could see that......

  8. 9 March 2011 16:49
    "staff sickness is not an issue"

    When the post says "I am confident that it is staff sickness that is the underlying cause of the staff attitude"
    I don't think he means staff are actually absent from work due to sickness.
    Staff are sick (and in work) because of the conditions created by Senior and Junior management.
    HMRC created this sickness on purpose in order to grind people into the ground and then to improve morale they changed sickness absence policy to bully people and scare them.
    Again and again, HMRC management have introduced polices with no apparent intervention from PCS.
    HMRC Management will watch carefully over the following months and when they see they can get away with this one they will introduce another aggressive meaningless policy later on.
    PCS need to strike while the irons hot and nip these things in the bud quickly.
    If HMRC sniff a weak Union they will be in.

  9. "PCS need to strike while the irons hot and nip these things in the bud quickly."

    I think changing unions would be more effective.

  10. "I think changing unions would be more effective"

    If the PCS are ineffective, ARC are so far up Senior Maanagement's backsides, that Ex-Com are so constipated that the crap has nowhere to go but to pour out of their mouths.

  11. "Again and again, HMRC management have introduced polices with no apparent intervention from PCS.
    HMRC Management will watch carefully over the following months and when they see they can get away with this one they will introduce another aggressive meaningless policy later on. PCS need to strike while the irons hot and nip these things in the bud quickly."

    HMRC management have introduced things despite PCS objections. PCS do not run HMRC so can't nip things in the bud.

    Prediction for the future -PCS will ask what the union members they want to do about it. the union members will do nothing. Members will complain that "the union didn't stop it". Management will laugh and carry on as normal.

  12. 22:49-"PCS do not run HMRC so can't nip things in the bud".

    Yeah but what they can nip in the bud is standing up for the rights and conditions of staff who are being bullied by managers and whose working conditions have worsened. Thats their job.
    Its now three weeks since hmrc introduced a sinister and dangerous change to sickness absense policy so lets see PCS step up to the plate and get a ballot out this one ASAP.

    Wake up and smell the coffee.

  13. Having worked in HMRC for well over 30 years this is by far and away the worst time EVER to be working there. And why - because our managers - senior and junior are interested in one thing and one thing only and that is stats, stats and more stats. As long as they can make the figures add up at the end of the month (and if they don't add up they're simply falsified to make it appear we're doing a good job) they're happy.Pacesetter is everything and staff morale is under rock bottom. Management in my office literally DO nothing - just attend meetings where they plot how to drag the whole place down below the fucking waterline whilst they climb above that waterline on the backs of the staff to try and gain whatever kudos they can do. This used to be a good job which started going downhill when the IR joined with C & E - the nonsensical idea that two completely disparate departments could join together when we did not have a common computer system was just symptomatic of an idiocy that has spread further and further over this department like a huge black shadow and has just escalated so much that it is now unstoppable. Then management come down hard on the poor ordinary working Joe with measures like this sick leave thing but somebody will get their promotion out of it and a pat on the back by Uncle Dave Hartnett . The Department is going to hell in a handcart

  14. Can anybody tell me more details about these new sickness rules, please?

  15. Hi! It's Yokelbear here. Ironically enough I worked for 18 years in Departrment of Work and Pensions. If the new measures about sick absence mentioned are the new disciplinary measures, I can tell you from experience that they won't work.

    They used exactly the same methods in DWP and it was a disaster fro the staff and customer service. It created stress and bad feeling amongst staff who were essentially penalised for suffering from stress.

    It was used get rid of staff whilst avoiding redundancy payments and it forced ill staff into work, who obviously couldn't provide a decent service simply because they were too ill to come to work, but had been forced back on pain of disciplinary.

    I remember a week of hell when I had to come into work with full on flu, was made to work and ending up throwing up into my bin whilst answering phone calls from claimants.

    So no, I don't think these new sick absence measures will alleviate the issues I outlined in my original blog post.

    Oh ..and in case any senior civil service managers think my comments are disciplinary worthy. Too late you f***kers...I'm no longer a civil servant, I now work for a large Trade union organisation so you can't touch me. hehe!


  16. In answer to the penultimate answer the new sickness rules are basically that you're "allowed" 5 sick days and a maximum of 3 occasions off per year before "they" start attempting to discipline you. It used to be 10 days.Managers now have to start monitoring sick leave from the very first day that it happens
    This is quite obviously an attempt to get rid of stressed out staff as a doctor won't give you a sick cert unless you've been off for seven days. However if you take seven days off the dept will probably bleeding sack you anyway.

  17. Looking forward to seeing what happens with my partner who has had to take quite a lot of time off recently due to illness. Our own GP put it down to work place stress and HMRC's own doctor agreed.

    I suppose the person who has to decide is now in a position where they will have to lay my partner off or it will just be added to the list of bully boy threats I have been collating over the years. A list which is to be published at some point in the future along with the names of the people involved and supporting documents.