HMRC could be implementing a “payment by results” system for some members of staff as part of their new performance management set-up, according to trade magazine, Taxation.

The new set-up forces line managers to grade their employees in three categories: “exceeding”, “achieving”, or “needing improvement”.

Staff placed in the final category will not be eligible for a pay rise, whereas staff in the “exceeding” category will get better pay rises than those in the “achieving” category.

Taxation say that some line managers are using their employees’ tax collection figures to justify the grades they have given team members in obligatory “validation meetings” with their peers.

This has led to staff feeling pressured to hit targets to protect their pay rises, or even their jobs.

Although eventually called off, these new performance management reforms led to HMRC top officials threatening to strike on Valentine’s Day this year.

Speaking in February, Dave Penman, general secretary of the First Division Association, said:

“Our members in HMRC are not faceless bureaucrats, but real people striving every day to serve the government and the public. They deserve a fair performance system, one which allows them to do their job, free from the tangle of bureaucracy.”

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