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, 6 January 2010

Staff Survey Results 2009

My thanks to one of my loyal readers who pointed me to a page in the HMRC site that lists all manner of research, including the 2009 Staff Survey (taken in Feb 2009). This was referred to in HMRC's Capability Re-Review (published 14 December 2009 by the Cabinet Office).

Rather confusingly HMRC call it "Employee Engagement Survey", and have placed at the bottom of a page called "Research", no wonder I couldn't find it!

The survey makes for dismal reading, and shows differences in key metrics compared with the bench mark (BM) survey undertaken in February 2009. The percentage point difference in positive scores between HMRC results and the median score across all
Government Departments and Agencies taking part in this survey.

Aside from showing a lack of pride in working for HMRC etc, the survey also highlights the culture of bullying that is often mentioned in comments posted on this site by HMRC staff.

Here are a few extracts:

Returns: 53,071
Response rate: 60%

Employee Engagement score

32% -16% compared with BM February 2009

Through statistical analysis the questions that best measure employee engagement say', stay' and strive') have been grouped in an index. The index score is shown below. The questions that make up the index are labelled in the "Results by question" section of this report.

Employee engagement consists of 3 elements:

- Say 21%, -21% compared with BM February 2009
- Stay 60%, -9% compared with BM February 2009
- Strive 14%, -16% compared with BM February 2009

My work gives me a sense of personal accomplishment 46%, -24% compared with BM February 2009

I am sufficiently challenged and motivated in my work 47%, -22% compared with BM February 2009

HMRC as a whole is well managed 11%, -16% compared with BM February 2009

Please state who discriminated against you, or harassed or bullied you over the last 12 months

Response count
Your line manager 2,726
Your colleagues 1,998
Your staff 281
Other 2,175
Prefer not to say 2,093

I am proud to work for HMRC 25%, -23% compared with BM February 2009.

Tax does have to be taxing.

Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations

What is TAXWISE?

TAXWISE is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.

To find out more, please use this link Taxwise

Tax Investigation for Dummies, by Nick Morgan, provides a good and easy to read guide for anyone caught up in an HMRC tax investigation. A must read for any Self Assessment taxpayer.

Click the link to read about: Tax Investigation for Dummies

HMRC Is Shite (, also available via the domain, is brought to you by "The Living Brand"


  1. What do you honestly expect here at HMRC, with jackbooted management! And yet they wonder why people are so fucked off....

  2. Thanks Ken for this.

    Love the line in the Video-"He arrives to whispers and stares" A lot of us on the ground must surely know what thats like, haha!!
    Some of these management bastards seem to think you have no right to arrive to work in the morning.
    Its death by a thousand cuts to be involved with these people.

  3. All these "managers" are no more than self-styled little Hitlers that jackboot around the place thinking "they really are something" when in fact they are incompetent fools wasting vast amounts of taxpayers' money bullying their staff into completing reams of spreadsheets designed specifically with just one self-serving purpose - to prove "how wonderful I am as a manager and to secure me a nice fat performance bonus". They are all little shits that don't care a toss about anyone or anything other than themselves. May all of them burn in Hell for all eternity is what I say!!!

    The "merger" of IR with C&E (actually a "toxic takeover" of C&E) played right into these wankers' hands and wasted even more taxpayers' money. The C&E staff now have to endure, apart from the very odd exception, being "managed" by pathetic grade-conscious Inland Revenue twats who don't have the first clue about C&E work. They have pushed through a "new penalties" system based purely on "Inland Revenue thinking" leaving the VAT staff feeling unsupported and utterly bewildered with a system that, in practical terms, is very obviously unworkable and utterly unfit for purpose. And the result - a department in complete disarray and in danger of virtual collapse - and it will be deemed to be the VAT staff's fault for failing to get to grips with the new system. The VAT staff are systematically being tied in knots and brought to their knees by being forced to complete barrowloads of more and more spreadsheets, adhere to procedures that are liable to audit, red tape and senseless bureaucracy whilst forever being threatened with C&D procedures and all manner of internal audit checking designed to frighten staff into submission should they dare not to comply. With poor pay, appalling conditions, a weak trade union that appears to have taken some sort of vow of silence and a bullying management it is little wonder staff loyalty and staff morale are through the farking floor.

  4. "Let the floggings continue until morale improves..."

    My sympathies are with HMRC staff, but where on earth is this all taking us? With an over-dominant supreme leader who is more interested in jetting around the globe than taking an interest in his foot soldiers and a part-time chairman who appears to be, if you forgive me, a total waste of money, the whole thing is a shambles.

  5. "but where on earth is this all taking us?"

    Basically nowhere with the current unions. I doubt members of staff would be willing to take action against their managers if they are being bullied because there does not appear to be any backup from the unions.

    Managers should not view this post as an sign of having got away with it though because you never know what may be published in the future.

  6. You would think that a government department, responsible for the collection and administration of a country's taxes would have some semblance of a workforce who were motivated and unified in their work, with a management team who led from the front.
    Five years after the merger or Revenue takeover, there needs to be a major review or investigation into why a survey report can produce such incredible results.
    My memory of HMRC was the ratio of managers to staff. It was a joke, and whats worse, a nasty aggressive style of management crept in from the Inland Revenue.
    Turkeys dont vote for Christmas so it will probably never get any better for anyone unfortunate to enough to be involved with this department.

  7. Reading through all this, it has to be said that some serious questions need to be asked "in the House" as to why Gordon Brown's brainchild HMRC is to utterly fucked up!!!!!

  8. Sorry, but you've linked to the Feb 09 staff survey not a newer one.

    The comparisons are with benchmarks for that Feb survey as explained at the top of the 4th page of the PDF: median across government departments taking part in the survey.

    So the figures you highlight are the difference between HMRC and an "average" department. Still not a good picture but you are mis-analysing the data.

  9. A recent straw poll around the office concluded that 100% (of those asked) of staff working for HMRC were happy to work there!

  10. To correct the serious omission from the last posting...

    A recent straw poll around the office concluded that 100% (of those asked) of staff working for HMRC were NOT happy to work there!

    PS - as this was a careless error no doubt I will have to face a penalty.

  11. "Sorry, but you've linked to the Feb 09 staff survey not a newer one."

    I thought so - to have collated and analysed the results of a survey that was taken only in November is a task way beyond the capabilities of HMRC.

    Fear not though - if my conversations with colleagues are a reasonable reflection, the results of the latest survey will be dire beyond imagination.

  12. A happy workforce is a productive workforce. However, HMRC's sole aim is to get rid of as many staff as they possibly can, so they aren't interested in anybody being happy. The latest staff survey will only reflect the discontent of most of the staff who have to endure the aggression and bullying of managers who spend more time talking about what they did on their weekend or what happened in the soaps, than actually doing any work. Senior management can pretend as much as they like that they are interested in the people who actually do the majority of the work - AO and AA grade - but they aren't fooling anybody. HMRC will never be a good department to work for until employees are respected for the contribution they make, and not treated as if they are naughty five year olds who have to be supervised constantly.
    The results of the staff survey will change nothing. Nothing ever gets better in HMRC, only worse

  13. Thanks to those who have pointed out that this survey was in fact taken in Feb 2009.

    You are correct, I totally screwed up and apologise for that.

    I have re edited the article to correct the errors.

  14. Has anybody ever seen and figures to what this situation is actually costing the country?

  15. HMRC needs a completely new management team from top to bottom in order to kick start it afresh and repair the morale they have so badly damaged. Truth is they don't give a shit, not one of them. They care only about themselves and sod everyone else. It's high time they fired those management hangers-on for being the utterly incompetent buffoons that they are. If HMRC wish to pride themselves in being a professional organisation, then hire some professionally-qualified managers and get rid of those pathetic amateurs that have farked the department up big style!!!

  16. Agree entirely... get rid of these "management" twats and their silly spreadsheets and let the staff get on with some real work in a bully-free, blame-free workplace!!!

  17. And HMRC "management" shold take no comfort from the response to questions around 'I intend to be working for HMRC in 12 months time' Where else are the poor blighters going to go A job is better than none....

  18. Public sector workers - laziest in the land! If you do half a day's work or someone asks you to do something extra, most of you have to go off sick with stress! Not to worry, Mr Cameron and Co. will sort this out from next week!