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Monday 01 March 2021

Members vote to accept 13% pay deal for HMRC members

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Members of ARC and Keystone have voted overwhelmingly to accept the HMRC pay and contract reform, which will see the majority of members receive approximately 13% consolidated increase over the lifetime of the offer.

The results are as follows:
ARC                                                          
Accept: 99.16%                                
Reject: 0.84%                                
% of members voting: 88.3%                  

Keystone
Accept: 99.2%
Reject: 0.8%
% of members voting: 87.4%

Responding to the vote, ARC President Loz Hutton said: “A huge thank you to all the members who participated in the consultation process attending and contributing to our pay meetings and for casting your vote. We had over 50% of the membership dial in to our pay sessions.

“We have had an incredible response to vote on this forward looking pay and conditions offer. The majority of members voting in favour clearly demonstrates how much the offer means to members.”

In addition to the above inflation pay rise, the offer also included a range of family-friendly policies and new approach to flexible working. New flexitime arrangements will be made available, giving HMRC staff up to Grades 6 and 7 the contractual right to take 28 days flexi-leave a year on top of their annual leave entitlement. This will address longstanding concerns about the inconsistent application of the TOIL policy and is hopefully a positive step to address the excessive working hours culture in parts of the department.

We also negotiated enhanced paternity pay, increasing from two to four weeks from 1 September 2021, alongside special leave entitlement to support colleagues when a child arrives prematurely and also ensuring both parents receive paid time off to attend antenatal appointments.

As a result of the pandemic, members made it clear that in the future they would like a more flexible approach to working, including the ability to continue working from home if this is no longer the default. Taking these views onboard, we negotiated that members will have the opportunity to work a minimum of two days from home, with the potential for more if their role allows.

The pay deal has been achieved following detailed negotiations with ARC, which commenced in July 2020. HMRC has engaged with unions and worked constructively to take a proposal to the Treasury, which has allowed the department to award staff with an above inflation pay rise that they well and truly deserve.

Key points of the offer

  • The offer is a three-year deal giving an average pay award of 13% across the term.  A 3% increase would be awarded in March 2021 (backdated to June 2020), followed by a 5% increase in June 2021 and a 5% increase in June 2022.  These increases will be consolidated and therefore pensionable until you reach the maximum of the new ranges. Any additional amounts will then be paid as a non-consolidated lump sum.
  • Employees will get the full pay award each year, but where that would take someone beyond the max it will be paid as a non-consolidated bonus.
  • The increase to the min and max has been capped at 1%. This was  a non-negotiable condition set by HMT and Cabinet Office – we are working with the FDA and HMRC to fight to fix it in future years.
  • HMRC has committed to urgently with ARC at the end of this pay deal to find the right pay model to enable members to move through their pay ranges.
  • HMRC Trainees on a scheme to G7 (Band T and Legal Trainees) will be moved to the HMRC HO and SO ranges during the pay award period, securing higher future pay and ensuring fair access to future pay awards rather than being treated differently, which has historically led to their pay lagging behind.  For TSP, we are working with Tax Academy to finalise which trainees will move onto the SO range (Training schemes retain their special status and ARC continues to represent all trainees).
  • Flexitime arrangements will now be available to Grade 6 & 7 and will be contractual. The arrangements will allow members a contractual right to take up to 28 days flexi-leave a year on top of their annual leave entitlement. This will address longstanding member concerns about the inconsistent application of the TOIL policy and is hopefully a positive step to address the excessive working hours culture in parts of the department.
  • Working hours will move to 37 hours per week for everyone, and this will be pro-rated for part time members of staff.
  • Annual leave entitlement will be a maximum of 30 days per year, with the starting entitlement being 25 days, increasing by one day per year of service.  Previous qualifying service either in HMRC or in another Civil Service department will count towards increasing your allowance.  In addition to annual leave entitlement everyone will receive a privilege day for the Queen’s Birthday which can be taken at any point in the year.
  • A single contract and terms and conditions will be introduced and for most people this will mean no change to their current working arrangements.
  • We are not changing to 5 over 7 contracts – they will no longer exist.
  • Where a directorate needs to introduce different working arrangements, including, for example regular evening or weekend working, this will be subject to a mandatory enhanced consultation process with the unions before it can be implemented through a new directorate working arrangement. 
  • As part of this offer the working arrangements for staff in Customer Service Group will be changed.
  • Other directorates have confirmed that they do not want to change their current working arrangements at this time.
  • A limited number of specific personal working patterns such as term time working and part year working, and certain condensed hours arrangements, will now be subject to a 5 year time limit at which point an application can be made to renew.  This does not affect part time or working patterns in general – and the purpose is to ensure that more people are able to access these arrangements when they need them as a limited number can be supported at any one time.
  • There will be longer notice periods for G7 and G6, 8 and 12 weeks when they resign from a job to ensure a proper handover can take place.  This does not affect rights in other policies like redundancy or the Civil Service Management Code.
  • For those who have legacy sickness pay rights i.e. 6 months full pay, 6 months half pay, these will not alter as a result of this deal, unless you are promoted, at which point you will move to the new sickness pay arrangements.
  • We have negotiated new family policies to improve the offer for colleagues who are becoming parents.  From 1 September we will see paternity pay enhanced from 2 weeks to 4 weeks, provide special leave entitlement to support colleagues when a child arrives prematurely and also ensuring both parents receive paid time off to attend antenatal appointments.
  • There are some changes to Daily Travel Assistance policy from 1 June which may affect staff as a result of the Locations Programme.  It will now be calculated on the actual difference in weekly costs rather than daily commuting costs and will be available for 3 years.
  • HMRC will have a standard leave year of 1 September to 31 August with effect from 1 September 2021.
  • There will be some changes to mark time, overtime and premia payments. 
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