Reposted from Public & Commercial Services Union website
R&C/BB/018/15 set out the GEC advice to Branches and members on how to frustrate the Department’s use of unpaid benefit claimants in the workfare scheme “Movement to Work”.
That briefing was relatively well received by branches that had expressed concern about the use of workfare staff in HMRC. I have however received little feedback, in my capacity as the AGS responsible for issuing the briefing, about how strongly its advice has been followed by members.
Indirect anecdotal evidence indicates that the Department have asserted that they do not need to follow their insubordination procedure where they have issued a “reasonable management instruction”. Given that failing to do so would deny them a paper trail to evidence the reasonable nature of their approach, the Branch reporting this were advised that members should not allow themselves to be brow beaten in this way, and to request this statement in writing. No further problems have been reported.
Bootle Taxes Branch have undertaken to organise a petition calling upon Lin Homer to abandon the use of Workfare and to recruit permanent staff, and Branches are asked to circulate the link to the petition (https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/lin-homer-end-workfare-in-hmrc) as widely as possible to members and local contacts that may be supportive.
It is the wish of the GEC and of PCS nationally that everything we can reasonably do to oppose the use of workfare be done, and to that end, the GEC agreed to form a small group to take this work forward, seeking input from Branches. If there is an activist in your Branch (or, indeed, more than one) that would be willing to join this group, please let us know by emailing XXXXXX@gmail.com
Additionally, every Branch is requested to collate the following information as best they can and to provide it to the GEC:
• The support demonstrated by members in following the advice contained in R&C/BB/018/15;
• The numbers of MTW benefit claimants brought in by HMRC in each location;
• The number of staff at AA grade that have recently left HMRC in each location MTW benefit claimants have been brought in by HMRC, and;
• The nature of the work given to them, with particular reference to access to HMRC information on taxpayers