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Departmental Personnel

Volume 486: debated on Wednesday 21 January 2009

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are (a) his Department’s and (b) HM Revenue and Customs’ definition of pre-surplus staff; and what the criteria are under which an individual is added to the pre-surplus staff database. (241745)

In HM Revenue and Customs, when it becomes clear that work is reducing in a location and the number of posts needed to carry out the work is likely to reduce, senior managers within HMRC will assess whether their business will have a potential staff surplus. Wherever possible, the aim will be to manage the situation before declaring staff pre-surplus. Only permanent HMRC staff are eligible for pre-surplus status.

Where senior managers identify that there is a potential staff surplus they will consult with staff and the unions representing the staff affected, then commence pre-surplus measures. Those measures will include working with other senior managers and HR Business Partners to consider all the options for managing the potential pre-surplus situation.

Staff can be declared pre-surplus in two ways.

All staff in a particular grade, team or location could be declared pre-surplus. Once there has been a sufficient reduction in staff numbers, the remaining staff will no longer have pre-surplus status.

Alternatively, when a specific reduction is needed quickly, senior managers could run a selection exercise to identify which members of staff will fill posts to be retained. The remaining staff are then made pre-surplus.

Once declared pre-surplus, individual staff are added to the pre-surplus database. This ensures they are given priority access to vacancies within HMRC, and vacancies in other Government Departments.

HM Treasury does not use the term ‘pre surplus’ nor has any equivalent category.