28 October 2021

Financial help for location moves

Following the Pay and Contract Reform deal, HMRC has published the arrangements for payments to assist members who are moving offices, including the reimbursement of additional weekly travel costs.

New arrangements have now been introduced for calculating entitlement to assistance when you move your permanent office location. HMRC has published an update, drawing attention to the new arrangements which apply to everyone employed by the department.

Key Changes

From 1 June 2021, the previous arrangements for the Daily Travel Assistance (DTA) have been replaced with the new Moves Adjustment Payment (MAP). The key change that the new arrangements introduce, is a comparison between the average weekly travel cost from your home to your old workplace, and to your new workplace.

The purpose of the new arrangements is to introduce a consistent approach that will apply to everyone. Previously, the arrangements for potentially claiming DTA weren’t open to all workers moving offices. The calculation of DTA payments were also open to differing interpretations that led to a number of disputes. The new arrangements aim to resolve those issues.

To be even more consistent, for all staff, claims for MAP will be available for a maximum of 3 years, with one exception: If you were assessed prior to the 1 June 2021 as being outside of Reasonable Daily Travel (RDT), you will be able to claim MAP for 5 years from the date that your new workplace opened.

Flexible Working

Over the past few years, with location moves becoming more common, we've pressed the employer to introduce more flexible working arrangements. PCS has ensured that options for flexible working are comprehensively considered as part of the redundancy mitigation process, this has in turn led to large numbers of members being able to keep their jobs, by reducing their attendance at an HMRC workplace and working from home either partly or permanently.

Pay and Contract Reform has now introduced the prospect of workers in HMRC being able to work from home for at least two days a week, building on the evidence produced during the Covid-19 emergency that for many people, working from home is a popular and viable long-term prospect.

All of this means that how often you need to attend an HMRC workplace has changed markedly and will carry on evolving. The new policy is designed to ensure that everyone is reimbursed for their additional weekly travel costs fairly and promptly. PCS will monitor and review with the department, how the new arrangements are being implemented.

Claiming for Financial Assistance

The guidance on claiming financial support for a move of location, including MAP, is signposted in a Helpcard on the HMRC intranet, with the more detailed policy guidance at HR 25401.

If you need any advice about claiming financial assistance for your location move, please contact your local PCS representative directly. In turn, branches can seek advice and assistance from the group executive committee for any issues that cannot be resolved locally.