PCS members in HMRC’s Reading office are staging a lunchtime demonstration on Tuesday 16 August 2016, following a decision to make three members of staff redundant – with two of the three staff considered to be disabled.
The protest takes place on the same day that HMRC is making 82 members of staff redundant across the UK, as a result of its wider office closures programme.
It is estimated that over 20% of the staff being made redundant nationally are disabled, despite the department claiming to have undertaken an equality impact assessment of its latest round of job cuts.
Many of the redundancies are of staff at the lowest pay band, which is disproportionately represented by disabled and BME (black and minority ethnic) staff.
PCS group secretary Martin Kelsey said:
“There is absolutely no need for HMRC to make anyone redundant, in Reading or anywhere else in the department.
“For HMRC to spend a fortune putting trained staff out on the street, at the same time that it is heavily recruiting in some of their other offices, is a waste of taxpayers’ money and another example of shambolic thinking by the department.
The fact that this policy is affecting some of the most vulnerable workers in HMRC makes it even more deplorable.”
PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka said:
‘It is madness that HMRC are making staff redundant when they should be investing in staff to deal with the £120 billion in evaded, avoided and uncollected taxes. And it is a disgrace that such a high proportion of workers being made redundant is disabled.’
The demonstration will take place between 12 and 2 at the HMRC office at Sapphire Plaza, Watlington Street, Reading RG1 4RE and is being supported by Disabled People Against Cuts.