HMRC staff to be offered ‘first dibs’ on new Dundee social security jobs

Dundee House will be the home of the new social security headquarters
Dundee House will be the home of the new social security headquarters

HMRC staff in Dundee at risk of being made redundant when Sidlaw House closes will be offered new jobs at the city’s Social Security Scotland office.

Social Security Minister Shirley-Anne Sommerville has written to MSPs Joe FitzPatrick and Shona Robison to confirm workers will get “early access” to jobs at the agency, based at Dundee House.

She said: “To support staff in HMRC at risk of redundancy, the Scottish Government has agreed those affected will have early access to suitable vacancies in Dundee – via a streamlined merit-based process.

“As with all staff joining from other government departments, any HMRC staff gaining a post with the Scottish Government and/or Social Security Scotland will be supported, to ensure a smooth transition and maintain continuity of employment.”

HMRC staff at Sidlaw House were told last April plans to transfer their roles to the Department for Work and Pensions had been shelved.

The move, part of an initiative to centralise 170 local offices into 13 UK “regional centres”, is a response to the changing benefits system.

Dundee workers have been handling tax credit claims – a role which will be made redundant when tax credits are fully absorbed into the new Universal Credit benefit payment in 2021.

Scotland’s new benefits agency, which will oversee devolved responsibilities including disability benefits and carers allowance, employs 323 staff – with 164 at its headquarters in Dundee.

It eventually hopes to employ 750 people in the city.

Ms Robison, MSP for Dundee City East, said: “I am delighted the Scottish Government has taken the lead in providing a number of ex-HMRC staff with new roles in Social Security Scotland and is continuing to work with them to ensure they are given early access to jobs in Dundee through the streamlined process.

“The establishment of Social Security Scotland and the jobs that come with it will continue to be a real economic boost to the city for many years to come.”

Mr FitzPatrick, MSP for Dundee City West, visited the agency last month when he met chief executive David Wallace. Mr FitzPatrick, who serves as public health minister, said: “The government’s decision to base the agency in Dundee is a clear signal of our commitment to the local workforce.”