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.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

HMRC Staff Survey - PCS Call For Boycott

My thanks to a loyal reader who posted this comment re my recent article about the HMRC staff survey

Rather worryingly it seems that PCS are advising people not to complete the survey.

"FYI Ken,

PCS are recommending that the survey NOT be completed.

As a PCS member I'm not sure what I will do.

As you know I am not an HMRC member of staff, nor a member of PCS. Therefore I may well be missing some nuance. However, I can see no possible rationale for PCS to be advising such a course of action.

The survey, if filled in honestly, represents an opportunity for staff to publicly tell management and the government "it how it is".

In the event that there is a boycott of the survey by a large number of staff, then the result will be skewed and not representative.

HMRC will then either come out with a favourable result, or simply discredit any unfavourable result by saying that many staff did not complete the survey and as such many staff must be assumed to be content with how things are.

The fact that PCS don't seem to see the above as a likely outcome is worrying:

1 Either they are in cahoots with HMRC management, and are trying to discredit the survey, or

2 They believe that the results will be fixed, in which case they should come clean and go public with their concerns about the honesty of the survey.

As to blindly following what the union tells you to do, don't!

It is up to them to publicly explain why not completing the survey is in the interests of the staff that they claim to represent.

Please could PCS post a coherent rationale (that stands up to scrutiny), on this site, for boycotting the survey?

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. I'm led to be believe the reason for the boycott is to do with a recent hotseat answer (from a director), seemly there was some discussion over the a comment that lowest scoring offices on the staff survey would be the ones that were closed.

    Can someone please correct me if I'm wrong?

    I don't know whether to complete it either but as they've made it part of our PDE I kind of feel obliged.

  2. Fair point, but they had to publicly back-pedal on that

  3. PCS were quite clear and open about the boycott. As were ARC before they reached agreement with management (their own members). It was the PCS members who told the union to boycott.

    "HMRC will be launching the annual staff survey on Monday, 26 September. The decision of conference this year was that support for the survey should be withdrawn on the basis that staff were being pressurised into filling in the survey, to fill it in in a particular way, and that staff survey results were being used to inform departmental decisions about its future presence in specific locations."

  4. "I don't know whether to complete it either but as they've made it part of our PDE I kind of feel obliged."

    How the hell can they put it in your PDE? You should have refused to sign it. And they can't make you sign your PDE because they haven't finalised the format yet.

  5. Re PCS statement:

    "There is clearly some work to be done to determine how PCS negotiators now engage in further discussions and continue to influence the process, but taken as a whole the agreement, and the supporting statements from HMRC, are helpful in moving towards meeting our concerns.

    We also recognise that the agreement and the statements from HMRC have gone some way to restoring the trust that members expect to have when completing the survey. On this basis we are more confident that we will be able to rebuild the necessary trust required for our members to be able to complete the survey in future years. For this year’s survey, however, we will be following group policy and we would ask therefore, that PCS members are reminded of the resolutions carried from conference. Members are accordingly to be advised not to complete the survey this year."

    It appears rather mealy mouthed to me, basing the "boycott" on the premise of "group policy" is hardly the rallying cry of Henry IV at Agincourt.

    If you don't fill in the survey the results will be skewed and worthless, but HMRC will not admit to that.

    If there is evidence that the survey results in the past have been manipulated, then make the evidence public and prosecute those responsible.

  6. Maybe the PCS where told to call for a boycott by their members who are part of the management problem within HMRC.

  7. Its not that the survey results have been manipulated. It is how they are used.

    Group policy is based on how the union members in that group vote. PCS leadership can't go against that and the management assurances came too late for this year.

    Don't you just hate the democratic process.

  8. A survey becoming part of your PDE?

    What twat came up with that one.

    Dont sign your PDE never mind the survey.

  9. Sorry Guys, it may be a totally stupid Q but what is a PDE?

  10. Its on my PDE too.
    Ofcourse when I questioned this(as isnt participation supposed to be voluntary) I was told not to worry about it - its still up to the individual whether they choose to complete it or not.
    Doesnt that mean all of the rest of the PDE bollocks doesnt apply either unless I want it to??
    After all it does stand for
    Patronising Demeaning Exercise..

  11. @ 17.01

    PDE means Personal Development (I cant remember what the E stands for !).

    Its my annual plan that is imposed on me every year (as I refuse to sign) but it contains targets such as quality/how many cases a day I should do & take part in Pacesetter).

    Its a crock of sh*te & means nothing to me as I aint after promotion & I try to do my best for the public despite the barriers put in my way by management.

  12. PDE - staff appraisal. Ideally you sign up to a series of objectives at the start of the year and are evaluated on them at the end of the year. The process has been a little bumpy this year

  13. The E Stands for Evaluation.

    They have two Personal Devlopment Evaluations a year.

    You basically have to lay out your case for your manager on how you have performed throughout the year.
    At the end of it the manager writes his or her own view of your performance with the critical line -"Suitable for promotion" and then you sign it.

    Since HMRC hasnt bothered to invest in anyone in the last number of years the whole PDE thing is a scam.
    A PDE doesnt mean Jack-shit. Its a blank cheque.

  14. 2 PDE's a year, I've only ever had one a year, doesn't surprise me mind the amount of absolutely god awful managers I've had.

    I was told it had to be part of the PDE this year, that it was in everyones.

    PDES's are a complete waste of time, there's no incentive to achieve anything in HMRC - no payrise, no thanks, just abuse and general bullying. I do nothing more in my job than I have to, I'm always helpful and provide the best service that I can, (I'm in a CC) but as for anything above and beyond they can go stuff it.

  15. 17.01 "I try to do my best for the public despite the barriers put in my way by management."

    That neatly sums up the way I felt when I "retired" from HMRC. I was continually hauled over the coals for my high call handling times when less responsible staff were doing their best to "fail" taxpayers on security questions to make sure their call handling time averages were in the bonus zone. Call centres are not the correct vehicle for conducting the country's tax matters, there is no pressure for staff to "take ownership" of a problem. The whole setup STINKS.

  16. @ the last few posts, thanks I appreciate the clarification. The annual "evaluation" is, I guess, the bane of everyone's life - private and public sector.