Staff morale, confidence and satisfaction are at an all time low at HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) since the merger of HMCE and Inland Revenue in 2005, its staff survey has found.
The results may go some way in explaining the child benefit data loss fiasco this week.
The staff survey of almost 13,000 HMRC employees, conducted this summer, revealed that 72 per cent of staff felt that HMRC is changing for the worse or beginning to change for the worse, while 60 per cent said that they were not “satisfied with the department at this present time” – up from 44 per cent at the time of the merger in May 2005.
In addition, almost half admitted that quality of service to customers is not improving, and 53 per cent said that senior management do not provide effective leadership.
The results also showed that 44 per cent of staff would not recommend the department as a good place to work.
Roy Maugham, tax partner at accounting firm UHY Hacker Young, is not surprised at the negative responses from HMRC staff.
“The data protection scandal makes a lot more sense once you’ve seen the latest HMRC staff survey results,” he remarked. “Staff have now endured over two years of immense frustration as they have tried to deal with serious disorganisation, confusion and lack of focus which the merger caused. It is now clear that HMRC staff are disheartened and have lost confidence in senior management and the way in which the department is run.”
He added that much more needs to be done to improve morale and confidence in the department and prevent customer services deteriorating further. “The more alienated HMRC staff become from customers, the harder it is going to be for the department to win back their confidence and trust in the future.”
Earlier this week, HR Zone reported that the loss of the child benefit records may have been due to the pressure caused by job cuts.