Thursday 21 November 2013

HMRC Voluntary Redundancies

My thanks to a loyal reader who pointed out that HMRC is looking for around 250 voluntary redundancies in four of its offices in Northern Ireland.

The number of staff eligible to apply for redundancy is 24 in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh; 77 in Londonderry; 134 in Newry, County Down, and 5 in Belfast.

HMRC told the BBC that the redundancies were necessary as more taxpayers (HMRC in fact used the "c" word) choose to do business with them online.

"An increasing number of customers are choosing to do business with us through our online services, which has reduced our need for physical sites.

This change has seen the nature of our work shift away from the mass processing work of the past to the more specialist, but less labour-intensive, roles required in effective policing of the tax system.

As a result some areas of our work do not require as many staff.

We are not closing any offices today."
Doubtless those staff with the most experience will be the ones tempted to leave, which of course is not good news for HMRC or the taxpayers.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. 134 in Newry. I'm not sure how many people actually work in the Newry Office but that must be a huge chunk of the workforce. That means fuel smuggling and contraband is not too much of a concern for HMRC management as Newry borders the Republic of Ireland.

    1. That's actually a bloody good point and it's not just the fuel smuggling that goes on across the border, but all the variations of dodgy business that can happen with a very porous land border with another country.

      Maybe this is just another example of the government (doesn't matter what flavour) acknowledging reality and rather than taking steps to harmonize taxes across the border, simply ignoring the problem by not enforcing it.

      As usual the net result of such actions means that the honest get shafted and the dishonest gets easy money.

      There are more internal barriers within the province than there are between the province and the Irish Republic.

  2. it seems like they are scrapping the whole aa grade too

  3. There are a similar number of volunteer plank-walkers being sought in Wales too: in Colwyn Bay, Merthyr Tydfil, Carmarthen & Pembroke Dock. This, of course, will leave those locations as being deemed 'uneconomical' and thereby providing a ready excuse for total closure within the next 2-3 years.

  4. The total number of voluntary redundancies being sought is well in excess of 1000 across the whole of of HMRC including about 500 in DMB (mostly at the lowest AA grade)

  5. The department has launched a voluntary exit scheme aimed at 2,000 staff, including some in face to face offices whose future remains uncertain.

    The announcement targets around 1,500 staff in personal taxes and compliance and 480 in debt management.

    In an unusual move, staff have been told there has been no formal decision to close any of the 21 affected sites but the department does "not see them featuring in [its] long-term plans"

  6. Why are they looking rid of the AAs.

    1. Because the staff at AA grade do not perform the same duties as those at AO grades.
      This work involves making & receiving telephone calls to the HMRC external customers , as well as dealing with post.
      The decision to apply for Voluntary Early Severance (VES) has to be made by 18th December (I think), if your successful you leave on 30th April 2014 with a max 2 years pay , if your unsuccessful you go into the redeployment pool, and if you cant get out of the pool you then get made compulsorily redundant and get a max of 12 months pay.

      So thanks to the Con-Dems for a great Xmas present...

    2. If u can't get out the redeployment pool u r then offered voluntary redundancy on the same terms as VE. U r better off taking VR than CR.

  7. As one of many made redundant from HMRC I find it shocking that so many have yet to see any redundancy payment even though it's over a month since our employment ended.. I'm not at all surprised tho.

  8. With regard to the quote above regarding "our customers choosing" and "reduced need for physical sites". I understand HMRC conducted a phone survey asking people how they would like to communicate with HMRC. Going into a Tax Office and dealing with it face to face was not given as an option. So guess what the result was!