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HMRC civil servants are playing video games while 'at work'


It is an "open secret" that HMRC staff members who work from home take excessive breaks and instead of working, partake in gardening, take the dog for a walk and play PlayStation, a whistleblower has claimed.

The department's culture has been branded a "shambles", caused by chaotic management and a wave of unskilled recruits, according to another whistleblower.

Some customers who attempted to speak to a HMRC employee over the phone claimed they were interrupted by the sound of a baby crying and told by an employee: "I'm upstairs but I will pass you down to my wife who is in the dining room and works on tax codes."

It comes as new figures show that taxpayers face record average waits of 25 minutes to speak to an adviser.

In January alone, a total of 840,000 calls to HMRC went unanswered.

The Government department has received backlash for its "flexible working" system after an investigation found the recently built "home" for 4,500 civil servants saw just 976 people enter the hub in the centre of Cardiff, the Daily Mail reports.

During the hours of 8am-9.30am on Wednesday, the Ty William Morgan building saw a lack of HMRC workers arrive.

One whistleblower said: "The standard of written English is abysmal in official documents from the department.

"In a department like this, clarity and precision are vital - it's shocking."

A second whistleblower added that is was an "open secret" that home workers were taking "excessive breaks".

They said: "The training staff were openly saying they were doing the gardening, taking the dog for a walk, playing PlayStation.

"One used the excuse 'I'm taking the cats for a walk'. It was astonishing how little work was being done. It's seen as a nice easy number and there was very little accountability."

However, in a statement, HMRC insisted: "Hybrid working is part of our approach to being a modern and flexible employer like many other organisations, meaning we can attract and retain the talent we need to deliver for our customers.

"Our colleagues are held to the same standards whether they are working from an HMRC building or from home and our advisers answer the same number of calls on average whether they are in the office or not."