Update on closure dates in offices in the Glasgow and Edinburgh regional centres.
Announcements relating to office closures in Scotland were made on 14 March. These largely focus on confirmed closure dates for the existing estate. Over 50 offices are earmarked for closure in the 2020/21 year, with more than 30 of these during the second half of that year. Therefore, in order to spread out the closure dates, any redundancy consultations and the 1-2-1 exercises (which the department must hold at least 12 months prior to the closures), and taking into account the expected opening date of the Regional Centres, HMRC has altered the vacation dates for a number of offices.
HMRC plan to open the Edinburgh Regional Centre in early spring next year with the Glasgow Regional Centre following in summer 2021 and the latest information for offices in the region is as follows:
Portcullis House is planned for closure in June 2020 with 1-2-1s due to commence in April this year. Staff will initially migrate to the new site at 123 St Vincent Street in the city before moving to the Glasgow Regional Centre.
Cotton House and Cumbernauld remain as previously stated in that the office will close in Autumn 2021 once the regional centre has opened.
Plaza Tower is planned for closure in September 2020, with 1-2-1s due to commence in September this year. Staff will initially migrate to the Transitional Site at Queensway House in East Kilbride, although any staff who wish to go straight to Glasgow city centre (123 St Vincent Street) in advance of the regional centre opening will be able to..
Ruby House is planned for closure in January 2021, with 1-2-1s due to commence in November this year.
Barbara Ritchie House is planned for closure in June 2020, with 1-2-1s due to commence in April this year.
Pyramids Centre is planned for closure in September 2020, with 1-2-1s due to commence in September this year.
Grayfield House, Elgin House and Meldrum House are all planned for closure in June 2020 with 1-2-1s due to commence in April this year.
Dundee remains as most recently advised in that the office will close in spring 2022
The union advises all members to ensure they read the comprehensive PCS advice on the 1-2-1 process, and make sure they have a 1-2-1. Members should also read the PCS advice if they have any reasonable adjustments, if car parking might be an issue for them, and if there are any other special factors that might affect their situation. Any member who has any questions or worries should speak to a local PCS rep about these.
Updated, detailed guidance is being worked on by PCS and this will be issued in good time for the commencement of the 1-2-1s.
PCS members will have differing emotions depending on their circumstances. Some will be devastated and angry whilst others may be looking forward to an exit package and a new life.
The Group Executive Committee continues to support any group of members who oppose the closures and reiterates our demand for a moratorium on the closure programme in the face of the UK exiting the European Union to allow for public and Parliamentary scrutiny of management’s plans; including a case by-case re-examination of all current planned closures and a full copy of the business case produced by management.
Although the department continue to publically reiterate the commitment that 90% of staff who were in post in 2015 are expected to migrate to the new regional centre offices or otherwise conclude their career with HMRC, data obtained by PCS indicates much fewer have moved in the offices that have underwent 1-2-1 exercises since the start of the programme. Even more worryingly, some of the more recent 1-2-1 exercises and closures have resulted in even less staff staying with the department. This is unsurprising because the reduced footprint of HMRC and similarly shrinking sizes of other government departments mean there are less options available than ever before for members who do not wish to be made redundant.
If members have any concerns or questions about the content of this briefing they should contact the PCS Regional Hub lead, Scott Clark, at Scott.Clark@hmrc.gov.uk