Around 1.5 million individuals in the UK work for the public sector in its various forms, with the NHS, BBC and Government departments ranking as many of the UK’s largest employers. With around 64,000 employees HMRC is the third-largest public sector employer, and larger than roughly 70% of the FTSE 100.
With all those employees, it’s important HMRC keep morale as high as possible, which it has been struggling with in recent years. Cost-cutting measures have meant HMRC has shed thousands of employees, and the spectre of outsourcing has been looming large over HMRC’s overworked call centre staff since 2010.
Last year saw the largest exodus of HMRC staff in four years, with 1,697 staff upping sticks, 1,238 of whom were lost from the personal tax department. This high staff turnover reflected poor morale throughout HMRC, which routinely scores lowest of all Government departments in annual employee surveys.
The latest survey, however, appears to show a slight uptick in employee satisfaction. A total of 30,725 HMRC workers were surveyed, and overall staff satisfaction improved 2% in 2013, compared to the 2012 numbers. It’s worth noting, though, HMRC is still 18% behind the highest-performing Government departments.
Remuneration appears to be the largest cause for concern, with just 23% of HMRC’s staff reporting they feel their pay is “reasonable […] compared to people doing a similar job in other organisations”, and 26% indicating they are satisfied with their “overall benefits package”.
With priorities shifting abruptly towards tackling tax avoidance and offshore schemes, it seems only logical HMRC staff would feel somewhat bewildered, and the survey figures reflect this – 57% of employees think HMRC cannot handle change well.