HMRC staff leave TEN MILLION phone calls unanswered a year as it is revealed that 80 per cent of employees now work from home
- The MoS has uncovered office attendance records for all 67,000 HMRC staff
- Just one in five staff were in the office at any time during the month of July
Ten million calls to the taxman are going unanswered a year – as it is revealed that 80 per cent of all HM Revenue & Customs staff now work from home.
The MoS has uncovered the office attendance records for all 67,000 HMRC staff – the first time the data has been disclosed.
Just one in five were in the office at any one time in July.
The taxman was unapologetic, saying the current policy is to allow staff to WFH ‘at least two days a week’.
This comes as the number of customer service calls going unanswered has more than doubled in five years.
Ten million calls to the taxman are going unanswered a year – as it is revealed that 80 per cent of all HM Revenue & Customs staff now work from home (file image)
Over the past year, there were 38 million calls to the tax helpline, and ten million of these went unanswered, new figures show.
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By contrast, in 2018 there were 43 million total calls, 4.3 million of which were unanswered.
Nearly two thirds of callers – 63 per cent – are waiting longer than ten minutes to speak to an adviser, up from 14 per cent in 2018.
MPs have said the taxman’s customer service had dropped to ‘unacceptable’ levels, and in January, the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee gave HMRC three months to improve.
The Mail on Sunday obtained records of daily pass-swipe data in all HMRC buildings with security gates across the UK – disclosing how many people on average come into the office each working day.
HMRC said ‘most colleagues are able to work from home at least two days a week’.
Dame Meg Hillier, who chairs the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, said the issues would be discussed in an upcoming session
Dame Meg Hillier, who chairs the committee, said last night: ‘Our committee found at the beginning of this year that taxpayers were still not receiving acceptable levels of customer service, and surprisingly we heard that HMRC at times had simply closed their telephone lines.
‘We will be discussing these issues and more at our forthcoming scrutiny session with HMRC.’
Regarding the calls, an HMRC spokesman said: ‘There are various reasons why calls to HMRC are unanswered, including customers choosing to ring back at another time or deciding to use our highly-rated online services instead – for example, after hearing a recorded message reminding them of this option.’
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