AWR-Monitor - What's going down?
We've published our latest snapshot of market data and agency feedback on all matters AWR. We will be using this in our follow up discussions with the Employment Relations Minister Norman Lamb and have called for further details on the government’s proposed review of the administrative implications of AWR.
In summary, some of the main messages from the latest AWR Monitor are as follows:
- The impact of the regulations continues to vary by sector. Overall, temporary billings have shown a slight but sustained contraction over recent months, according to the monthly REC/KPMG Report on Jobs.
- The future outlook remains more positive. This month’s REC JobsOutlook – which tracks future hiring intentions – shows that 81% of employers plan to increase or maintain current use of temporary staff over the next 3 months. The number of employers planning to take on more agency staff in both the short and long term has increased.
- Recent feedback from regional and sector group meetings – as well as from the REC’s legal helpline – has confirmed that on the whole recruiters have made the necessary changes and are focusing on the ‘day-job’ of providing the best possible service to employers and workers.
- Where REC members have flagged specific challenges over the last month, these have focused on the status of Limited Company Contractors and practical implications of ‘pay between assignments’ models (PBA).
- There are few signs at present of a surge in information requests and tribunal activity. The one tribunal case that has so far been brought to the REC’s attention is likely to be heard next month.
- One emerging trend is that agencies are having to come to terms with employing temporary staff under a PBA model. This brings with it the whole challenge of managing an employment relationship, including disciplinary procedures, absence and performance management
Recent discussions with the CBI and other business organisations have focused on plans to evaluate the impact the overall impact on employers and agencies – as well as on workers – at next October’s one year anniversary of the regulations coming into force in the UK.
As part of the evaluation process, the REC’s Industry Research Unit is currently working with the Department for Business, Innovations & Skills (BIS) on an impact assessment report which will be made available over the coming weeks. A key part of the REC’s work is to focus on the ongoing benefits of flexible staffing arrangements through initiatives such as the Flexible Work Commission which will be publishing its recommendation in September.
Looking ahead, the key REC message is that agency work will continue to be critical to the UK economy and labour market. The flexibility that temporary work provides is one of the reasons that unemployment has not risen further during the longest and deepest recession for fifty years.
AWR-Monitor can be accessed by members at the following link: http://www.rec.uk.com/regions-sectors/sectors/awr/awrmonitor