17 June 2021

HMRC London Pay Area Working Arrangements

New Helpcard confirms policy guidance on London working arrangements and flexibilities available on the 40% office attendance requirement.

HMRC have published a new Helpcard that confirms the policy position on the working arrangements in the London Pay Area & in particular, the requirements that apply to workers in receipt of London Pay. The Helpcard has been published to provide clarification on the policy position that will apply in normal circumstances therefore these should not be read as a change to the current amended working arrangements that will continue to apply. Any change to that position will be made gradually & subject to further discussion with PCS.

London Pay

The rationale for having a London Pay Area has been a long-established concept across the civil service & elsewhere. In HMRC the key requirements are that a worker is permanently based in a workplace within the London Pay Area & works from a London office on average 40% of the time.

The Helpcard provides guidance on the flexibilities on this that can apply due to working arrangements or personal circumstances.

The policy indicates that “Understandably there will be occasions when colleagues will not be able to attend a London office for 40% of their week due to leave or meetings/carrying out the core duties of their role in other locations etc. In these circumstances, managers should still consider these days as office attendance if they fall on a day when a colleague would have attended the office.”

The policy also makes it clear that “There may also be other occasions where the 40% requirement has not been met, but managers will be expected to take a reasonable and pragmatic approach depending on the situation and duration.”

Current Situation

PCS has received representations from members that some areas of HMRC have already signalled an intention to put in place plans to scrutinise members individual working arrangements, specifically focussing on workplace attendance.  HMRC is clear that any policy advice will be developed centrally & it is therefore not appropriate for individual business groups or directorates to develop their own policy guidance.

Discussions are taking place with HMRC on the policy advice & guidance that will apply to any further returns to the workplace. As indicated earlier in this briefing the implications for members working in the London Pay Area will also be discussed. Further information on the progress of those discussions will be issued, in the meantime members are advised to follow the current published guidance.  

Members are advised to continue to raise any concerns they have with their local PCS representative. In turn branches are requested to escalate any matters that cannot be resolved to the lead PCS negotiating team using the following address: pcsdtus@hmrc.gov.uk