17 January 2022

HMRC announces RCDTS to close

HMRC has announced that its anti-union "subsidiary", RCDTS, is to close. Some HMRC IT staff are also facing the threat of privatisation.

After months of prevaricating, HMRC has announced that the anti-union, “wholly-owned subsidiary of HMRC”, Revenue and Customs Digital Technology Services (RCDTS), will be broken-up. Part of RCDTS will be re-incorporated into HMRC and part of it will be fully privatised.

Impact on wider CDIO

It isn’t just RCDTS staff who’ll be affected by the plans, which form part of the department’s Technology Sourcing Programme (TSP). HMRC members of staff in the Chief Digital Information Office (CDIO) will see significant change brought about by the move of RCDTS staff fully into HMRC; whilst some HMRC staff are facing the threat of privatisation as well.

However, PCS is recognised by HMRC for collective bargaining purposes, and the department has made the commitment to fully engage with PCS on this, and on the wider TSP exercise. PCS, and our sister union ARC, are continuing to press HMRC, calling on them to redeploy within the department, any staff who do not wish to transfer to the private sector. Following the department’s apparent move away from this approach, as recently as December 2021, PCS and ARC wrote to HMRC to reinforce this fundamental demand.

One rule for some…

Unlike some staff in RCDTS, the directors will not be facing the threat of a forced move to a private company but will be moved back into the mainstream department. Meanwhile these directors are still refusing to allow PCS to assist RCDTS members facing a Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) transfer – otherwise known as a TUPE transfer - out of RCDTS, preferring instead to expect inexperienced and relatively untrained “Employee Forum” members to handle the impact of complex employment legislation.

We are preparing detailed written guidance and advice on the TUPE process, to support both RCDTS and wider CDIO members. We will arrange to email this to all personal email addresses, so please ensure that the personal email address we hold for you is up to date.

Urgent members’ meeting

PCS is holding an all-members meeting, open to all RCDTS and wider CDIO members, to discuss these developments.

The meeting will be held at 13:00 on Thursday 20 January 2021 via Microsoft Teams. Look out for the members’ briefing containing the details.