HMRC sacks 150 and stokes dispute

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Senior HM Revenue and Customs officials have stoked a dispute by today issuing almost 150 compulsory redundancy notices.

We believe the move is “entirely unnecessary and inflammatory” and that the department has breached its own and civil service-wide agreements on handling redundancy situations.

The threat has been hanging over staff for several weeks but there is still more the department could do as it is currently recruiting new staff to the same and similar grades.

It is refusing to redeploy those at risk to any office listed for closure in the coming years under plans to shut all but a handful of HMRC’s 170 UK sites.

We called on HMRC chief executive Lin Homer to intervene to avoid what would the first compulsory redundancies in her department, but she has refused.

We are considering all our options, including industrial action, and will provide regular updates to members.

It comes as the government plans to further cut civil service redundancy pay, despite previously claiming recent changes were “affordable and sustainable”.

And follows news that 250 business department jobs are threatened in Sheffield, hundreds of Department for Health staff could go, the Passport Office plans to shut almost half of its interview offices and 86 more courts have been earmarked for closure.

The government recently announcement it wants to close three quarters of its offices in the coming years in what we described as a “wholesale retreat from providing local public services”.

Our general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “It is entirely unnecessary and inflammatory to tell these 150 staff there is no future for them in the civil service when staff are being recruited to do similar work.

“This is not how reasonable employers behave and we will be considering all options, including industrial action.”