Our Conduct and Behaviour: HMRC’s compliance with section 149
All staff including decision makers across HMRC must have due regard to the needs set out in Section 149 of the Equality Act, see COG11250.
HMRC provides detailed guidance and support to ensure that due regard is satisfied for both policy and operational decisions. Apart from being a legal requirement, there are clear business benefits from considering equality as a matter of course in policy development and service design. Some practical examples of the guidance and support available are detailed below.
HMRC Strategy for customers that need help
In line with the Public Sector Equality Duty, HMRC has published a strategy for customers that need help, see HMRC’s compliance with the specific duty in section 149 (web). This strategy is intended to help support a wide range of people needing help with HMRC products and processes. Key elements of this strategy include
- Unpaid agent strategy
HMRC is working with larger voluntary sector organisations to make it more straightforward for voluntary sector and other unpaid agents, such as friends or family members, to represent people that cannot, or prefer not to deal with HMRC themselves.
- Grant funding
HMRC has a grant funding programme which will provide £2 million per year targeted at supporting voluntary organisations to assist people with their tax and benefit obligations, see HMRC Grant Funding Programme (HMRC website).
- Help and advice
HMRC provides extensive help and advice for people through its contact centres, website and Needs Enhanced Support (NES), see Helping those who need it most. HMRC has also targeted grant funding to help improve access to voluntary sector assistance to customers.
You can find more information about the general implications of the Act for HMRC, together with the latest topics concerning the Equality Act guidance by referring to the following link Equality Act 2010: guidance (web).