One-day strike won’t affect HMRC operation

Accountants should not notice any difference when dealing with HM Revenue
& Customs services today, despite a one-day strike by up to 8,000 tax office

Public and Commercial Services Union spokesman Alex Flynn said the strike was
only by tax processing staff, who deal with PAYE and self-assessment returns.

‘None of the striking staff are really customer-facing,’ said Flynn, adding
that no other services would be down in the tax offices.’

The decision to strike comes as HMRC’s senior management backed down on a
settlement over new working practices.

‘It is set to be on one day,’ said Flynn. ‘We’ll see how it goes and hope
management will get back to the negotiating table in the spirit of the interim
agreement, which they subsequently backed down on.’ 

He said the union believes the new practices will lead to excessive
monitoring of staff, ‘deskilling of work’ and even cases of repetitive strain

An HMRC spokesperson claimed the industrial action was supported by only
4,000 staff members, about half the number of people working in the affected
processing offices.

‘We regard this action as unnecessary and unwarranted, but we have
contingency plans in place that are minimising disruption. Customer service
remains largely unaffected by today’s strike. Access to Enquiry Centres has not
been compromised.
‘We are very disappointed with the PCS’ decision to conduct this action. We have
made it clear that HMRC is keen to resolve the outstanding issues with the PCS
without compromising its ability to provide the service our customers deserve.’

An HMRC spokeswoman confirmed that accountants or members of the public who
phoned in to the various tax offices would still be attended to.

‘We won’t have any internal backlogs on the capturing of information either.
Not on a one-day strike,’ she said.

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