Accountants may struggle to get through to HMRC this afternoon

As if it isn’t hard enough for accountants to get through to HMRC on a normal day, it’ll be even harder today and tomorrow as Revenue staff go on strike.

The Public and Commercial Services Union has called on its 50,000 HMRC members to protest against the attendance management policy. Today (June 7th), members are being asked to hold a one hour walkout between 16:00 and 17:00. Then tomorrow, the PCS union wants them to start work at 10:00 and take a two-hour break for lunch.

Recent changes to policy mean that employees taking in excess of five days sick pay or having more than three instances of sick leave could face disciplinary action. Officials from the Union say this stance is draconian and has also criticised HMRC’s policy on employees taking time off for dental and medical appointments.

In addition to the strike action, PCS members have been asked to refuse overtime working, work properly and stop using their own vehicles and make use of pool cars or public transport if they need to make work visits.

Steve Donoghue, the HMRC network branch secretary of PCS West Wales, said the action was being taken to protest against the Revenue’s policy of taking administrative action against employees who have in excess of five days’ sick leave. Members must support this action if at all possible, he continued. This industrial action is sending a clear message that the Union will not allow HMRC to continue eroding employees’ terms and conditions.

The PCS has more than 300,000 members working in a range of public sector roles including the provision of VAT and income tax advice.

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