16 Mar 2015 09:24am

Fifth of HMRC staff want to leave

HMRC could be facing a staffing crisis, as 22% say they want to leave the Revenue in the next 12 months

In addition, over three quarters have said they are unsure about the efficacy of the Revenue’s leadership, a study by Bloomsbury Professional has revealed. HMRC staff are also feeling increasingly undervalued, with 80% saying they are unhappy with their current pay.

Overall staff satisfaction fell to just 43% a drop of 2% from last year. Almost half, 45%, now feel overworked – up by 10% from last year. This, said Bloomsbury Professional, could lead to an under-par service from increasingly overstretched and “disillusioned” staff.

HMRC staff have staged a number of strikes recently, led by the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) over issues such as cuts to pay, pensions and working conditions.

The survey also revealed that 47% of staff do not feel they have the tools necessary to do their jobs effectively, while 76% said they do not feel the Revenue is well managed.

Martin Cassimir, managing director of Bloomsbury Professional said more investment is needed to halt the staff malaise.

He said, “Despite budget cuts, HMRC has regularly managed to increase its revenue from tax investigations over the past few years. But pressure from political parties is mounting on HMRC to keep delivering more and more. Unless it receives more funding from the government to achieve this, the quality and accuracy of the work carried out by HMRC staff is likely to suffer.

“More funding for the Revenue would help to improve staff satisfaction and also help the organisation to become more effective, increasing revenue from compliance work.”

He added, “HMRC is trying to achieve a lot in a short space of time; it is using new and increasingly aggressive methods, and it seems that many staff are worried about whether the organisation has the right leadership and resources to deliver the right results for the taxpayer. It may be time for HMRC to catch its breath and make sure it is getting the basics right, but without extra resources it will be unable to address these issues.”

HMRC however has argued that its staff engagement, satisfaction with leadership, change management and training has improved generally over the last five years.

A spokesperson said, "We listen to the feedback of our workforce because we know there is more we can do.

"Encouragingly, the 2014 survey showed positive feedback on the department’s vision for the future and the opportunities available for staff to develop their careers within HMRC.

"With £1 billion of government investment our staff have already helped to secure more than £100 billion in additional compliance revenues since 2010, by cracking down on tax avoidance, evasion, debt, error, fraud and organised crime." 

Ellie Clayton


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