Palmy call centre claims rejected

MATHEW GROCOTT
Last updated 06:39 08/11/2012

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Revenue Minister Peter Dunne has rejected a Labour MP’s concerns about staff turnover at Inland Revenue’s Palmerston North call centre, calling it ‘‘perfectly normal’’.

David Clark revealed yesterday that turnover among the call centre staff was 24.7 per cent in the past year.

At the Wellington call centre the figure was 33.7 per cent, while in Auckland it was 28.4 per cent.

Dr Clark said this  showed the department as a whole was in ‘‘crisis-mode’’, with morale at an all-time low.

‘‘Losing a third of your workforce in a year in the main centre is a shocking indictment on an organisation.’’

But Mr Dunne was quick to reject  Dr Clark’s claims.

‘‘Wrong. Wrong. Wrong,’’ he said.

‘‘The overall Inland Revenue staff turnover rate for 2011-12 was 12 per cent, not 34 per cent. The average across all government departments for the year was 11.4 per cent.

‘‘There is actually no excuse for him getting this particular one wrong, because it was his parliamentary question and he asked specifically about call centre staff and I gave him the answer.

‘‘Higher turnover rates in call centres are normal.

‘‘They tend to be staffed by students who are not intent on staying long term, and have exams and the like and who would often come and go within a year.

‘‘They are staffed by people who are looking for other jobs. That is the nature of the work.’’

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- Manawatu Standard

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