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Staff Survey and more...

Thursday, November 17, 2016



In the Membership News section we report on the Civil Service Compensation Scheme outcome. Most members will have seen the outcome the other week and we have not thought it pertinent to rub salt into the wounds. However there are things to report to members only. Please access this section using your unique membership password and your work email address. If you have misplaced this password – please Contact Us.


In this General News section we report on the Staff Survey results that were announced yesterday (16/11/16). We also update you on work underway by the RCTU on the Disability Confident Scheme.


Staff Survey


There were approximately 100 organisations measured in the survey. The results do not measure what this may mean to individual teams, individuals per se, Directorates etc. There will be variations at those levels.

Participating Organisations



The general trend is all areas of HMRC and VOA is upward, that is more “strongly agree” results – except for Pay and Benefits. The workbook here has two spreadsheets – first is the scores per category 2009 – 2016. These are for HMRC and not available for the VOA. The second shows data results for HMRC and VOA against the median Civil Service results by category.


Overall our organisations in 22 results across 11 categories scored HIGHER than the Civil Service median in 4 areas – one of which was the Response Rate which is not an indicator able to be assessed as positive in isolation of increased “worth”. The other “successes” were My Team and Learning and Development – except in the VOA My Team was below the median.


This can be spun as all trends increasing which is a good result (leaving Pay to one side for now) but the devil is in the detail as always.


We have examined the data and as can been seen by the first embedded spreadsheet those in HMRC are ABOVE (69%) the Civil Service (CS) median Response Rate (65%) by a few percentage points and those in VOA are just BELOW (62%)by a few percentage points. The lowest response rate we have seen in the CS is 23%.


This shows a 5% increase between 2009 and 2016.


We then looked at the Employee Engagement Index scores. The employee engagement index is calculated as a weighted average of the responses to the five employee engagement questions (B50-B54) and ranges from 0% to 100%. A score of 0% represents all respondents giving a rating of “strongly disagree” to all five questions. A score of 100% represents all respondents giving a rating of “strongly agree” to all five questions.


The questions are:



I am proud when I tell others I am part of [my organisation]


I would recommend [my organisation] as a great place to work


I feel a strong personal attachment to [my organisation]


[My organisation] inspires me to do the best in my job


[My organisation] motivates me to help it achieve its objectives


Both HMRC and the VOA scored BELOW the median average for the CS. The results were lower by 12% and 9% respectively. The lowest score we have noted was 41% - by our ex colleagues in Border Force. There were several respondents at about the same score as us and 4 lower than us. We were not last but firmly in the lower quartile of the results.


This shows an increase of 11% since 2009. This above the national trend in those years where, while increasing, the results are more modest.


Of course we are proud of the work we do and are extremely attached to that but we are also far below most organisations measured. Remember – there are approximately 100 in the survey. What can be said is we are no longer bottom as we once were only several years ago and that others are experiencing more of what we did but also that we have a long long way to go to becoming a world class organisation that we supposedly aspire to. Note also the score is only those “strongly agree”. This excludes those who responded who do not and those who did not respond. Yes it is better but not a great result.


We then took a more in-depth look at Pay and Benefits and Leadership & Managing Change. There are two spreadsheets in the workbook. The first looks at 2009-16 and second offers more detail of our results.

In-depth spreadsheets


Pay and Benefits is the one area where there has been no increase in survey scores from 2009 in our results. It is the same in 2009 as it is in 2016. 24%. We are significantly BELOW that CS median in all results in this category.


There are approximately 16 results in the CS below us, the lowest being 14%.


It is clear that we are not offering remuneration packages worthy of our work as we have been saying for far too long. Briefly, there is the ability to seek a better package from the Treasury – as we have stated previously in this News section – and it is evident that employees see promotion as the only way to receive a pay rise. This is not available for all. The real term pay cuts must stop. We could go on about dozens of interlinked issues here not least productivity but suffice to say , for now – INCREASE PAY – NOW – if the Departments have done so well in delivering tax yield increases ( no laughing at the back please ) – money where your mouth is – NOW. We can help here so this can be achieved…..


When considering Leadership & Managing Change it has to be acknowledged that respondents do feel this is better than 2009 – by 100%. However in the 13 questions for both our organisations we are BELOW the CS median. We are in the lower quartile of organisations measured still; the lowest is at our 2009 score! This area has shown marked improvement but it is not a great score at all.


Clearly overall the respondents do not believe the organisation is managed well, that senior leaders act in the best interests of the Department or that they have confidence in the decisions that are made – this is in accordance with what we know. The forthcoming changes and speculative and non-proven – rank and file staff are uneasy. They are proud of the job they do – as evidenced above in the Engagement section but do not see the changes to come and those so far as in the best interests of this Department. They have voiced there concerns again – who will listen?


For more data please see:



Disability Confident Scheme


We wish to continue work in this area and work towards Level 3 in HMRC and the VOA. To this end we are actively pursuing several types of approach and will keep members updated as matters progress.


Lastly and by no means least we note with sadness and the continued feeling that this is not the best way forward, these VOA Office closures


  • Carlisle – 25 November 2016
  • Bournemouth – 11 January 2017
  • Newport – 25 January 2017
  • Leicester – 8 February 2017
  • Peterborough – 22 February 2017
  • York – 8 March 2017
  • Wolverhampton – 22 March 2017


Only the RCTU looks after HMRC and VOA staff exclusively. Only the RCTU listens and acts on what members say and want in HMRC and the VOA.






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