HMRC are imposing their 2018 pay offer for all staff from AA to Grade 6. The offer will be implemented in August salary and backdated to June; which is the due date for pay awards.
It will be clear to members that this award comes nowhere near meeting PCS’ reasonable claim of 5% and does nothing to address members’ aspirations for fair pay. The government has refused to provide any further funds for pay and stipulated that the pay bill must not increase by any more than 1.5%. PCS has demanded that HMRC should return to the Treasury with a view to securing more funds for pay.
PCS members will be bitterly disappointed that once again their employer has failed to deliver a decent pay rise and as we await the employer’s response to our demand members are encouraged to make their views known through all available forums.
Endemic low pay
Low pay is so pervasive in HMRC, that the department has yet again had to admit that the lowest paid staff will need to receive a further pay rise next April, just to prevent HMRC being in breach of national minimum wage legislation.
So let’s be clear: in the department responsible for enforcing the minimum wage, the minimum pay is so low that they have to increase the minimum during the year, just so they aren’t breaking the same law it’s their job to enforce.
In his budget speech in the summer of 2015, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer said: “I am today introducing a new National Living Wage. We’ve set it to reach £9 an hour by 2020. The new National Living Wage will be compulsory.”
PCS asked the department how they plan to meet the government’s commitment to a minimum wage of £9 per hour by 2020. It was clear from their response that they have no idea, and the derisory award to the lowest paid in HMRC takes the department further away from meeting that target, not closer.
Impact of backdated pay
At this stage HMRC have confirmed that they are unable to stagger the backdated amounts, however HMRC are addressing issues arising from members having to pay higher pension contributions due to the lateness of the settlement.
Pay restrictions inconsistent
In areas where restrictions have been lifted, such as in Scottish Government, PCS has been able to negotiate fair pay rises for members. This shows that where there is a political will, there is a way to provide a path to fair pay.
Further information on PCS’ ongoing fight for fair pay will be published shortly. In the meantime we thank you for your continued support and would encourage all members to actively participate in the campaign.