HMRC set to shed nearly 100 posts with move to new Suffolk site
PUBLISHED: 10:36 10 February 2020 | UPDATED: 10:36 10 February 2020
Ipswich's tax office workforce is set to be slimmed down after it moves to new offices - through natural wastage.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said it is planning to cut overall staffing numbers by 97 over time - but there will be no redundancies. The tax office is bringing its town staff - which is currently spread across two sites - together onto one location as part of a national shake-up.
Ultimately it will have 450 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers in Ipswich from its current tally of 547 FTEs.
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The overall cut in numbers will be achieved by recruitment controls, some staff moving to a new regional centre at Stratford, and "standard attrition" rather than redundancies, it said.
Ipswich was chosen as one of five tax office specialist sites across the country as part of a national tax office reorganisation which involves 170 "legacy" offices being streamlined into 13 regional centres - along with the five specialist sites, a head office in London and eight transitional sites. Ipswich will also be a transitional site.
As a result, 356 FTE staff at Haven House and 191 FTE in St Clare House are moving later this year to Brooke Lawrance House in Civic Drive, Ipswich - the home of insurance giant Axa - where it will occupy two and a half floors which are being refurbished.
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"Due to the close proximity of the new location to the existing offices, HMRC expects the majority of staff to move to Brooke Lawrance House," a spokeswoman explained.
"Ipswich remains a Transitional Site until 2027/28 when it becomes a specialist site. The majority of colleagues in Ipswich are already working in specialist tax compliance roles, those in non-specialist roles will be able to continue in their current role until a specialist role is found for them.
"Currently we have 547 full-time equivalent (FTE) colleagues based across the two sites in Ipswich, 356 FTE in Haven House and 191 FTE in St Clare House. Ultimately HMRC will have 450 FTE in Ipswich achieved by recruitment controls, some staff moving to Stratford and standard attrition rather than redundancy."
HMRC announced in September 2018 that it would be retaining a presence in Ipswich, with Brook Lawrance House was chosen as "the preferred location" as it meets its future needs. It also represents "best value for money", it said, while being in the centre of town and close to the train station and other local amenities.
"HMRC is standing by its commitment to maintain a presence in the East of England and has now confirmed that staff will be moving to Brooke Lawrance House, which will act as HMRC's transitional and later as a location for specialist work in Ipswich," it said.
HMRC signed a lease for Brooke Lawrance House last year, where staff will have access to a café, reflection room and cycle parking as well as some parking spaces.