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Tax officials to strike on Valentine's Day

7th Feb 2014
Freelance journalist
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Senior tax officials are to go on strike on Valentine's Day in protest over a new employee appraisal system which they say will find 10% of HMRC workers are under-performing and need to improve regardless of how good their performance is.

Members of the Association of Revenue and Customs (ARC), a union representing senior managers and professionals in HMRC, recently voted to strike over a new performance management system.

AccountingWEB revealed the existence of the appraisal system last July.

“ARC members have been asked to strike not for money, but in pursuit of some basic principles: Reducing bureaucracy so we can do our jobs, a fair performance appraisal, rewarding, not penalising, promotions; and a fair deal for professionals," ARC president Gareth Hills said. 

“Our members are not faceless bureaucrats, but real people striving every day to serve the Government and the public. The work they do builds schools, hospitals, libraries and playgrounds. It’s work that funds the social fabric of the UK and delivers for the nation. They deserve a fair performance system, one which allows them to do their job free from the tangle of bureaucracy.” 

The Public and Commercial Services union, which has about 60,000 members at HMRC, said it wants the new appraisal system scrapped.

HMRC has said the appraisal system will help it identify workers who need support and help to improve the department’s overall performance.


Replies (6)

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By dgilmour51
10th Feb 2014 17:39

. . . real people striving every day . . .

Welcome to the reality, free of Public Service cosseting, that most of Private Industry/Commerce expects.

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By taxtroubleshooter
10th Feb 2014 22:56

Free from the tangle of bureaucracy - hear, hear!

Only a true genius of a satirist, or someone with a world-class lack of self-awareness,could have spoken those words. How we would ALL love to work free from the tangle of HMRC bureaucracy!

I also can't help admiring how they are happy to claim the credit for building schools (while getting paid much more, in most cases, than the people who actually build them) but not for the failed IT projects, for example. Well played!

I could also say something about the 10% figure, but I know I really, really shouldn't...

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By Char
12th Feb 2014 11:57

Government to blame yet again....

I can concur with the fact it is stupid having a 10% instant "fail bracket" as you could have 100% competency so the government is wrong in that respects.

However, and more importantly, the government is wrong over how and who they hire in the first place!  I must admit in my experience it is only the 10% of inspectors or senior managers within HMRC that are worth dealing with.  

There needs to be a comprehensive review system and also changes to the entry criteria.  The fact you can become one without prior qualifications in this day and age is mind blowing!

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By andrew.hyde
12th Feb 2014 12:07

Nothing to say...

...about the merits or demerits of either side's case, but why is it that Bob Crow and Boris Johnson (surely two of the most bone-headed, recalcitrant, bloody-minded characters ever to oppose each other) are able to suspend strike action and sit down at a table, whereas HMRC and ARC can't? 

Just asking, that's all.

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By Hhowie27
12th Feb 2014 12:27


Of couse all tax advisers and accountants are top calibre....... Really??

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Replying to Tim Vane:
By The Black Knight
12th Feb 2014 13:12


Hhowie27 wrote:

Of couse all tax advisers and accountants are top calibre....... Really??

You have a choice there though and some redress. They are not as expensive as a civil servant on a value for money basis either.

Will anyone notice they are not there anyway?

How they have the nerve to moan when my assessment would be 90% of them are incapable of reaching a standard that would be considered useful to anyone.

It is important that standards are improved in order to stop UK PLc from sinking further.

Decimation as a management technique may be the country's only option.

I do think the company commanders should take responsibility for their poor command resulting in p.... poor performance.

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