The first strike in over two years by senior HMRC staff is taking place today, with members of the Association of Revenue and Customs (ARC) walking out in protest over the introduction of a new performance management system and changes to their terms and conditions of employment report Harris & Co accountants Northampton
ARC says its members are concerned that HMRC’s new approach on performance management is ‘dogmatic, overly bureaucratic and demotivating’, and says that it demands fixed quotas - meaning 10% of staff fall in the bottom rating regardless of their performance. It also claims new terms and conditions mean those who are promoted receiving a poorer deal than their peers currently in place.
ARC president Gareth Hills said: ‘Since the introduction of the new performance management system in April 2013, HMRC"s approach has been overly focused on a level of poor performance that is not merited by the overall, continually improving performance of the organisation.’
Hills called for HMRC to introduce ‘a fair, transparent and equitable performance system – one in which staff have confidence that their appraisal markings are based on actual performance and not to meet a fixed quota, and one free from any discriminatory impact on staff from minority groups.’
ARC is a section of the FDA, formerly the First Division Association, and represents senior managers and professionals in public service, and FDA general secretary Dave Penman criticised HMRC for refusing to involve ACAS to help resolve the dispute.
‘HMRC needs to recognise that when so many of their senior managers and professionals are prepared to strike - not over pay but over an unfair and bureaucratic system of performance management – then it’s time to strain every sinew to avoid a dispute and get back around the negotiating table,’ Penman said.