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HMRC staff: Underpaid and overworked

16th Mar 2015
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HMRC employees are becoming more disillusioned and feel increasingly undervalued and dissatisfied with their work, according to the HMRC staff satisfaction survey.

The survey provides a worrying insight into an increasing culture of malaise at the Revenue. High turnover of staff could soon become a problem, with a growing proportion of HMRC staff saying they want to leave the organisation as soon as possible. 22% of staff say they plan to leave HMRC within the next 12 months or sooner, a 5% increase on last year.

The proportion of staff that think that their pay adequately reflects their performance is down by a quarter on last year from 25% to 20%. Overall, staff satisfaction fell to just 43%, a 2% drop from last year, and 45% of staff now feel overworked – up by 10% from last year, highlighting the potential for an under-par service from an increasingly overstretched and disillusioned staff.

Any hopes of improving HMRC poor service, which has been covered by AccountingWEB, could be scuppered by high turnover and employee disillusionment. 47% of HMRC staff admitted they do not feel they have the tools necessary to do their job effectively.

HMRC, like other government departments, has been subjected to cuts under austerity. For Martin Casimir, managing director of Bloomsbury Professional, this has been the key factor in the sharp decrease of staff satisfaction at the Revenue.

“Pay levels need to be adequate to motivate staff to be effective in their role,” said Casimir. “If the Revenue is unable to make salaries more competitive it risks losing top talent to other organisations that can offer more. Of course it cannot make salaries more competitive without an increased budget.”

Casimir pointed out that HMRC was coming under increasing political pressure to deliver higher yields from its compliance work, while still operating under extremely tight budget constraints, which appear to be affecting staff satisfaction.

“Despite budget cuts, HMRC has regularly managed to increase its revenue from tax investigations over the past few years,” said Casimir “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.”

Replies (7)

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By GuestXXX
17th Mar 2015 18:07


Thanks (1)
By johnjenkins
16th Mar 2015 19:10

So what

happens when there is no more to collect?

Thanks (0)
By johnjenkins
17th Mar 2015 09:29

I really

don't know why government don't allow us (through agent strategy) to deal with all the administration of all tax payers that have to do tax returns. Yes there will be a few quirks but I'm sure we can deal with 99% of it. This will leave HMRC to really do what they are supposed to do. Collect the money and make sure tax payers aren't fiddling.

Thanks (1)
By ShirleyM
17th Mar 2015 09:44

OK, I'll go against the grain here

The government keep slashing funds for HMRC, and yet everyone complains that there isn't the skills and manpower to deal with taxpayers properly, and that doesn't include dealing with evasion/'avoidance'.

I am sure HMRC has many proficient people (along with the hopeless people) but low pay and excessive workloads is demoralising and the people who leave will be the ones with real prospects (ie. the proficient ones). We know that only too well the problems that arise, and we sole practitioners have a choice which clients we take. HMRC employees have to deal with the taxpayers that we wouldn't touch with the proverbial bargepole so they must have it pretty tough at times.

I think injecting some funds into HMRC (so long as it goes to those who truly deserve a pay increase) would be beneficial in the long run as it would result in an increased tax take.

If I were in charge, I would up the pay (but only for the proficient employees) and reduce the pensions to bring their retirements funds into line with the private sector. If they want a rise, then they need to earn it, but the opportunity to better themselves (and not be overworked because they are the only good workers in a particular department) should be made available.

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By Kazmc
17th Mar 2015 10:36

I wouldn't.......

I wouldn't want to work there for love nor money, they obviously do not receive any adequate training. 

There must be nothing worse than dealing with an irate customer when you have no idea what you are talking about.

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By nogammonsinanundoubledgame
17th Mar 2015 14:51

If I were at HMRC ....

.... and got an irate "customer" call, then I would hang up, breathe deeply, and repeat to myself 100 times,

Index linked final salary pension
Index linked final salary pension
Index linked final salary pension

With kind regards

Clint Westwood

Thanks (3)
By Marion Hayes
18th Mar 2015 15:25

but Clint

indexed linked final salary increases of not a lot is not a lot.

Recent vacancies - solicitors and barristers:  £37990 - £53196

Graduate training programme takes 4 years £27045

Interns £14903



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