Regional structure: 1-2-1 process begins
HMRC this morning announced that the 1-2-1 process for the first group of offices earmarked for closure under its plans to reduce its estate to 14 Regional Centres is to begin. This will affect 25 offices and almost 2,500 staff, including a significant number of ARC members (the offices affected are listed below).
Many of the people affected by these announcements will be within a “Reasonable Daily Travel” (RDT) distance of a Regional Centre or a Transitional Site. But, based on almost 1,000 responses to our survey, ARC believes that the numbers within RDT distance will be considerably smaller than HMRC’s estimate of 90%.
What is already becoming clear is the huge additional burden that is being placed upon people who want to carry on their careers in HMRC. Just 30% of ARC members currently have a journey to work of more than an hour, with less than one in ten (8%) travelling for more than an hour and a half. After the reorganisation, those figures rise to over 60% travelling for more than an hour, with more than three in 10 of us travelling for 90 minutes or more. In offices like Norwich, our members tell us that not of the new sites is within RDT distance — a position recognised by HMRC, as the employer has announced today that most people in Norwich will be invited to apply for a voluntary exit if they wish to do so.
ARC is more and more convinced of the case we have consistently made that, if HMRC is to retain a fit and healthy workforce, committed to the organisation and producing for the country, then the employer needs to be much more imaginative in their thinking around modern working practices. HMRC are investing in the technology to make those options practical, but applying an old bricks-and-mortar approach to the working model, while the rest of the world embraces working practices endorsed by the Cabinet Office’s The Way We Work initiative. We hope that HMRC will see the sense in our argument and recognise the direction of travel being taken by many other employers in both the public and the private sector. To thrive and make Building our Future a success for us all HMRC has to adopt a more modern approach to a flexible employment offering and distance working. But in the meantime members have been asking us for the help they need to see them through the current process.
We have already produced guides on working through the 1-2-1’s] and on Reasonable Daily Travel, Home Moves Assistance (HMA) and Daily Travel Assistance.
We have given a commitment to all of our members that we will see you through the full process, whether you are a manager having to deliver and deal with the fallout from some difficult decisions, or someone who finds themselves on the wrong side of a decision and wishes to take the matter to appeal. Our contacts for each region will be happy to hear from you.
If we cannot give you an immediate answer then we will help you follow the matter up.
Offices Included in today’s announcement
Plymouth – West Point
Plymouth – The Apex
Photo: HMRC Building, Nottingham. ©2016 Adam Clarke/Creative Commons 2.0