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Revenue and Customs: Internet and Telephone Services

Question for Treasury

UIN 131463, tabled on 17 December 2020

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has for HMRC staffing levels in the next six months for (a) telephone and (b) webchat services providing businesses and individuals with advice on customs arrangements.

Answered on

11 January 2021

Resource deployed on to the Customs & International (CIT) line from 9 November was 20 full time equivalent (FTE), increasing to the planned core level of 100 FTE by 14 December 2020. This provides capacity to handle 10,000 calls/chats per week.

HMRC have also have trained standby resource of a further 100 FTE to support any increase in demand. The standby resource increased to 300 FTE from 21 December 2020. This resource when added to core resource, delivers capacity to handle 38,000 calls/week. Further contingency has also been identified requiring a change in operational priorities across HMRC’s Customer Services Group. Core, standby and contingency resource combined would provide capacity to handle 60,000 calls per week.

Regular reviews are planned to ensure core deployment matches underlying demand.

Alongside the scalable resourcing plan, HMRC extended the opening hours of the CIT line. From 14 December, opening times were 08.00-20.00 Monday-Friday. HMRC also provided a service on 1st and 2nd January 2021 from 08.00-16.00 and are providing a service for each Saturday thereafter.

Answered by

Treasury
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