Phased return to HMRC workplaces
HMRC have confirmed the arrangements that will be in place from 19July when the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted in England. Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are producing their own guidance.
The employer has confirmed that members can continue to work from home. If you choose to return to the office, this can only happen following a discussion with your manager, using the appropriate Toolkit.
PCS’s advice is that members should remain vigilant and cautious, particularly noting the rising levels of Covid-19 cases that are being reported.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published its latest guidance on avoiding the spread of coronavirus in the workplace. HMRC and PCS will be meeting in the coming week to discuss how the guidance affects staff in the department.
Prior to the publication of the guidance, PCS had already written to the department’s director of strategy, inclusion and employee deal, to set out the union’s demands.
We welcomed the consultation and the progress that has been made, but also highlighted the areas where we still need to reach agreement. PCS made it clear that while the virus is in general circulation and the number of cases is increasing, our policy remains one of ‘safety first’.
Follow the Toolkits
Through our ongoing negotiations with HMRC, a series of ‘Toolkits’ has been established, which set out the steps that managers and their staff need to follow, in order to ensure staff are safe and to ensure that those safety measures are consistently applied. We’re continuing to keep these under review.
Make sure you’re fully familiar with the Toolkits, and that you follow their guidance. The information is available on the HMRC intranet.
Action for members and branches
The Toolkits encompass HMRC policy and along with the supporting Helpcards they indicate the agreed process that must be followed. If you are made aware of an attempt to take an alternative approach you should report it to your PCS rep.
PCS continues to put your safety at the heart of our negotiations; and we have been able to reach agreements and establish protocols designed to reinforce this aim. If you aren’t yet a member of PCS, then join today.
HMRC applies restrictions on the content of union circulars distributed using the department’s email system, so make sure PCS has your personal email address and your mobile phone number. We’ll only use it to keep you informed about PCS matters. You can update your details securely online by registering for PCS Digital or by contacting your local PCS rep.