Taxman warned over staff exodus

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HMRC could suffer a max exodus of staff if it fails to halt declining morale, its latest satisfaction survey suggests.

The report reveals a growing sense that pay packets do not adequately reflect performance, with more than a fifth of the workforce planning to leave the Revenue in the next 12 months. Some 45% of staff feel they are overworked – an increase of 10% compared to last year.

Overall satisfaction among workers stands at just 43%, a slide of 2% against the previous survey. This has led to fears that taxpayers could suffer a drop in service, with disillusioned staff less likely to focus on quality and accuracy.

A large number of employees felt that they were ill-equipped to carry out their job, with nearly half admitting they do not have the necessary tools available to them. Leadership was another concern, as three quarters of respondents claimed the Revenue is badly managed. Meanwhile, four fifths did not have confidence in the decisions made by their superiors.

Commentators claimed the findings were the result of HMRC attempting to achieve a lot in a short space of time, and urged the Revenue to “catch its breath” and make sure it is getting the basics right.

A lack of funding was blamed for the poor morale, with HMRC constantly under pressure to deliver results on a tight budget.

Martin Casimir, managing director of tax information group Bloomsbury Professional, said: “Unless it receives more funding from the government, the quality and accuracy of the work carried out by HMRC staff is likely to suffer. More funding for the Revenue would help improve staff satisfaction and also help the organisation to become more effective, increasing revenue from compliance work.”

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