Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Concentrix staff working on Government job to transfer to HMRC

By Alan Jones

Belfast staff at the outsourcing company Concentrix who were working on a contract with HMRC are to become employees of the government organisation, it has emerged.

The HMRC contract held by Concentrix, which employs 1,800 people, is to be ended early after the US firm was accused of incorrectly withdrawing tax credits from hundreds of claimants.

Work will be brought back in-house immediately rather than waiting for the end of the contract next year, the Public and Commercial Service union (PCS) said last night.

HMRC announced last month it would not extend its contract with the company, which was at the centre of a parliamentary debate earlier this week.

MPs heard from Sarah Broome, a 40-year-old from Surrey who claimed she was forced to go six weeks out of pocket due to a decision by the company to end her payments.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "We're delighted HMRC has agreed with us this work is best carried out in-house and, crucially, has accepted our argument to protect the jobs of Concentrix staff by transferring them into the department."

A staff bulletin said discussions were continuing about the contract, adding that Belfast-based staff will automatically transfer to HMRC.

"This will provide permanent employment to Concentrix people who we require to deliver our priorities, offering job security to them well beyond the scheduled expiry of the contract in May 2017," it said. "We are working to agree transfer dates, but it will be in the next few weeks".

Concentrix was given the £75m HMRC contract to reduce fraud and error in the tax credits system. Around 500-600 Belfast staff were working on it.

A Concentrix spokesman said: "As the work carried out by Concentrix moves back to HMRC this means that, under the protection of employment regulations, Concentrix staff carrying out the work for HMRC will automatically transfer to HMRC.

"We have begun discussions with the staff about this transfer. This will provide permanent employment, offering job security to them well beyond the scheduled expiry of the contract in May 2017. We do not expect any forced redundancies as a result of this transfer."

Belfast Telegraph