Tag Archives: Performance



Lin Homer intranet message – PCS reply

Members may have seen the intranet message from the Chief Executive, Lin Homer, sent on the 16th June. In the message she states that she wants to correct ‘factual inaccuracies’ in PCS communications on jobs and staffing issues.

PCS is issuing this briefing to members to set out the facts fully and we invite you to make your own mind up about the need for us to take action next week.

Claim – Lin Homer says “Despite what PCS says, we are talking to them all the time about what is happening”

Reality – HMRC has announced that it is imposing a derisory pay award of 1%. There has been no negotiation with PCS on pay. HMRC is attempting to impose changes to banked and anticipated leave arrangements. There was no negotiation with PCS in advance of this announcement. HMRC announced plans to close 14 sites across HMRC and fully withdraw lines of business in 9 other areas. There was no negotiation with PCS in advance of this decision. HMRC is attempting to forcibly move staff around the department to cover staffing shortfalls. There has been no negotiation or agreement over flexible resourcing.

Claim – “William Hague and I last met with PCS on 9th May”

Reality – This is true. Lin Homer meets PCS for 1 hour every 6 months. Members may wish to consider if this represents “talking to PCS all the time”. Lin Homer consistently refused to meet with us to discuss our concerns around jobs and staffing and private conversations with her officials in the Employee Relations team have revealed that neither Lin Homer or William Hague are remotely interested in negotiations with PCS to address the concerns of their staff about their plans to cut a further 22,000 jobs between now and 2016.

Claim – “PCS talks about the need for ExCom to press for greater investment”

Reality – This is absolutely true. In response the employer has repeatedly refused to work with PCS to make the case for additional resources, better terms and conditions for staff or to highlight the proven ‘spend and save’ benefit of employing more staff across Lines of Business. Instead ExCom unthinkingly draw up plans to slash more jobs and close more sites. Far from ‘Building our Future’ their strategy risks ‘Destroying our Department’

Claim “In terms of flexible resourcing, we think it is right that we move people to where customer demand is”

Reality – HMRC’s own planning reveals a massive shortfall in staffing resources outside of peak periods. Despite this HMRC are planning to make 2,200 staff in contact centres compulsorily redundant in November and have put forward not one idea about how they will manage the growing crisis due to lack of staff bar forcibly moving staff around HMRC to try to cover up the mess they are making

Finally members will note that Lin Homer has absolutely nothing to say about the imposed performance management system – despite this being a central issue at dispute and despite 23,000 staff participating in the employer’s own pulse survey and rejecting the completely discredited PMR system.

PCS members are urged to support the rolling programme of strike action next week. The PCS Jobs & Staffing campaign is your chance to tell HMRC management that they ‘Must Improve’. We know members are angry and frustrated about:

The discredited performance management system and the way you are managed as a result

  • Another pay award below inflation (non consolidated again for staff at pay band maxima)
  • The constant denigration of staff in the department and our hard won terms and conditions
  • The prospect of 22,000 more job cuts, mass site closure and no clue from the employer about how they are going to do this or pay for it
  • The refusal of senior leaders to make the case for investment and more staff
  • The future of HMRC and the role it can play in communities and in public service delivery

We need to now take action together to persuade the employer to think again. Members are asked to take one day of strike action on the following days:

Monday 23 June: Scotland and northern England
Tuesday 24 June: Yorkshire and Humberside, and eastern England
Wednesday 25 June: London and the south east, and south west England
Thursday 26 June: Midlands and Northern Ireland
Friday 27 June: North west England and Wales

We urge you to support your union and support the action next week.

In solidarity

Lorna Merry  – Group President
Paul Barnsley – National Officer

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Performance Management System End of Year Advice: Part 3

Guidance on Appeals

The negotiating team dealing with Performance Management has been in discussion with the employer’s representatives over end of year appeals. Management published new guidance on 28 March. Whilst this guidance incorporated some changes proposed by PCS, there also remained some issues of concern which were the subject of further comment from ourselves. Management responded further to us on 1 April. Whilst there was some further movement on their part, it is the unanimous view of the negotiating team that this is insufficient to allow us to reach agreement.  HMRC have been informed of the PCS position and our intention to brief members on this.

PCS position
It is clear that the new appeals procedures are founded on the belief that a significant number of appeals are likely to be submitted by members. This, in itself, is a symptom of the shortcomings of the PMS system which has been foisted upon civil service departments by the government. Conversely, a system which enjoys the trust of staff – because it is fair and transparent – would not generate vast numbers of appeals.

Our aim has been to secure arrangements which:

  • ensure the appeals process is seen to be independent both of the appellant’s line manager and Countersigning Officer
  • provide an opportunity for individuals to put their case to the Appeals Manager in person
  • ensure that the Appeals Manager is at least one grade senior to the appellant’s line manager
  • provide for a further right of appeal if the appellant has concerns about the way in which their appeal has been handled

Talks with the Official Side
Discussions on these issues took place this week and resulted in some movement on the employer’s part. HMRC has written to PCS to confirm that they intend to introduce an appeals process along the following lines:

  • Appeals can be submitted within 15 days of the jobholder receiving their “final rating and report”. Appeals will be decided on the basis of a written submission using the “Performance Management Appeal Form”. A 750 word limit will apply to the submission – but additional supporting evidence can also be included.
  • Appeals can be submitted either against the final performance rating and/or comments made as part of the performance management review. Allegations of bullying, harassment, victimisation or discrimination can still be raised through the grievance procedures.
  • The appeal will be submitted to the Countersigning Manager.
  • The Countersigning Manager will not deal with the appeal but will appoint an Appeal Manager. The Appeal Manager will be someone who is a higher grade than the person appealing and can be from either within or outside the line of business.
  • The Countersigning Manager will forward the appeal to the Appeal Manager and let the jobholder know who is dealing with their appeal.
  • There will be no formal appeal hearing as part of the appeals process. The Appeal Manager can decide to talk to the appellant or the manager to clarify any points that are raised in the appeal. The appellant can invite a union representative or a colleague to a discussion with the Appeal Manager.
  • The Appeal Manager will consider whether the final performance rating and/or comments made are reasonable and fair – and, if not, will uphold the appeal.
  • The appeals process is final. The appeal manager will advise individuals of their decision within 15 working days of the appeal being submitted.
  • There will be a full review of the appeals process – as part of a wider review of the PMS system – after the year-end results are available.

PCS Advice
PCS fully understand that many members will be seriously considering submitting an appeal either if they receive a “Must Improve” marking or they do not receive an “Exceeded” rating. In terms of “Must Improve” markings, a “climate of fear” has been created – because members are concerned that this could lead to adverse management action or to detrimental consequences on pay – notwithstanding management assurances to the contrary. Equally, many members are disappointed that there was a significant shortfall in the number of staff awarded an “Exceeded” mark – just 13% against the guided distribution ratio of 20%.

Anyone who believes that a “Must Improve” marking was not warranted or that they should have been awarded an “Exceeded” marking has a right to appeal and should give careful consideration to exercising this right.

We have a further meeting with the employer’s representatives scheduled for Tuesday 8th April at which we will press again our demands for a fair appeals process. Following that meeting we will issue more detailed advice to members regarding the submission of appeals.

Clive Bryant  Group Assistant Secretary
Tom TaylorIndustrial Officer


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HMRC Must Improve – Have Your Say

(Adapted from R&C/BB/79/14)

The staffing crisis in HMRC is pushing members to breaking point. Draconian sickness and performance policies are starting to bite. Privatisation plans in Benefits & Credits and in DMB remains a real threat to jobs and data security. Despite widespread condemnation from politicians, local communities and workers alike, HMRC are continuing with their discredited Enquiry Centre closure plans. Brewing membership anger at these plans now needs to be captured and aimed collectively and decisively at the employer.

A Jobs and Staffing specific weekly bulletin will be produced updating branches on progress. A Jobs and Staffing special edition of Oracle has been produced and will be out shortly providing important information on the campaign and how branches can play a crucial role in building support amongst members.

All our reps are working hard to deliver for members in their branches. The employers’ cynical attempt to undermine our democratic rights through the threats to remove check off and chip away at our facility time will not work as long we stick together and fight collectively in our common interests against an increasingly hostile employer. We remain committed to talking to the department positively about jobs and staffing in HMRC, however as the closure decision on the Enquiry Centres shows they are clearly not listening. The only way they will listen is if they feel the widespread anger that exists – including our ability to disrupt their plans. We can only do this in an organised and united way.

Your branch wants to know what ideas you have in tackling the issues we face and what action you, as members, are willing to take so we can help shape the national campaign. Please send us your comments and ideas to campaigns@pcssewrc.org.uk before  April 11th

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