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HMRC St Austell

Penhaligon House is a HMRC contact centre handling customer calls.

What we do:

Tax Credit advisers take calls from the general public who can be from the most vulnerable families. Very good communication skills are essential in handling what can be difficult conversations. Advisers explain how the tax credit system works and answer queries regarding individual tax credit claims. Details are taken from our customers to update their changes of circumstances to help ensure the correct amount of Tax Credits are paid over the year.

The Payment Line involves taking payments via debit or credit card for Self Assessment customers.

Finally the Orderline takes telephone requests from the public and agents for HMRC forms & stationery. Requests are then fulfilled on site through a stock and packing section.

Why we became a healthy workplace:

Penhaligon House first signed up for the Workplace Health award in May 2010. As a Contact Centre we wanted to encourage more physical activities and for staff to be more involved with office social events. The Workplace Health Award has been a great way of doing this, with a wealth of information and support available from the Workplace Health Team.

The award and healthy initiatives have very much become part of working in Penhaligon House.

Recent health and well being activities:

Cycling has grown in popularity over the year with an increase in staff cycling to work and making use of the office facilities. This has been combined with a lot of interest in the cycle routes available locally and further up take in the cycle to work scheme.

A group of staff took part in the Eden Cycling Sportive in May. It was the first cycling event they had taken part in and involved a fair amount of training. Despite a very hard route with some killer climbs everybody completed the 35 mile route.

Fun sporting events have continued to be popular with staff taking part in the Rainbow Run at St Mawgan and the Santa Run at the Eden Project. Several teams from the office also took up the Get Active Cornwall Challenge which encouraged some healthy competition.

In September the office held a Macmillan coffee morning with a Health & Wellbeing twist. Interactive games and resources were borrowed from the Health Promotions Library. The beer goggles gave a fun but useful insight into the effects of alcohol with games of hoopla and penalties. Working collaboratively with the charity committee the office raised £297 whilst raising awareness in Health & Wellbeing.

In November a Learning at Work Day was held in the office. This included Health & Wellbeing related workshops such as ‘Allotment and Chicken Keeping’. This was presented by a member of staff and was real success with positive feedback and interest from his colleagues.

This is the sixth year HMRC St Austell has taken part in the Health Workplace Award and it continues to be a real benefit to the office. The information and resources provided through the scheme have helped raise the profile of health and wellbeing. The framework the award provides has been useful for analysing what has taken place over the year and planning for the future. Importantly there has been a fun approach whilst providing valuable information.

- Director
Top tip! No hiding from work email for employees

Companies need to set clear policies on acceptable use of work email, as well as regarding when to switch off - employees need to know it is OK to let work email that arrived after hours wait until the morning.


Mind, a Mental Health Charity, released a report in May 2011 claiming that UK businesses could save £8 billion per year if they managed workplace stress properly. 

The survey also found that 41% of workers experience stress, making it more of a concern than personal finances, health and relationships. 

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