'Red Tape Challenge' - Industry is up for it, says REC
The Government has this week's launched its 'Red Tape Challenge' to address badly designed regulations. Although the focus on cutting red tape is nothing new, wrapping it up in such a high-profile initiative will make it more likely to result in tangible change.
The campaign is part of the Government's growth agenda and will tackle the stock of more than 21,000 statutory instruments. Every few weeks a new set of existing regulations, organised around specific themes, will be opened up for review and comment.
In launching the 'Red Tape Challenge', Prime Minister David Cameron said:
"We need to tackle regulation with vigour, both to free businesses to compete and create jobs, and give people greater freedom and personal responsibility. Of course where regulation is well-designed and proportionate, it should stay. Our starting point is that a regulation should go or its aim achieved in a different, non-government way, unless there is a clear and good justification for government being involved.”
What might this mean for the recruitment industry? Marshall Evans, Group Operations Director of Staffline Group and Chair of the REC's Employment Policy Committee says:
"There is a real opportunity for the industry to come together and make a strong case for streamlining existing regulations. The feedback from members and from REC Sector Groups will help to highlight concrete examples of unnecessary burdens that need to be dismantled..
"In our discussions with Government, we have already highlighted a number of areas that must be addressed such as procurement policy, tribunal reform and a consistent application of tax regulations. Just this week, the REC raised with BIS officials specific areas within the Conduct Regulations that could be reviewed.
"Looking ahead, there is no doubt that external challenges such as AWR and the pensions reform will add to the load that recruiters have to bear. We cannot simply make some of these new regulations disappear. However, the focus on limiting red tape will help our campaigns to make them as user-friendly and as workable as possible."
The Red Tape challenge website was launched this week by the Prime Minister and Business Secretary Vince Cable. The REC will be working with its 21 different sector groups to co-ordinate the industry response.