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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation
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In your corner: REC Campaigns and Policy news - 13 January 2022

Government and campaigns

Patrick Milnes avatar

Written by Patrick Milnes Campaigns Advisor

It may be a new year, but it's business as usual for the REC campaigns team. A number of big announcements were made over the festive period and start of 2022 which the REC has already been actively working with stakeholders on. There are also plenty of other things to look forward to over the next few weeks and months that we will be asking for your input on. Here are some of the latest updates.

Digital RTW checks confirmed
At the end of last month, the Home Office officially confirmed that a permanent system of digital right to work (RTW) checks will be introduced from 6 April 2022, following extensive campaigning from the REC. This is a strong step forward for the Home Office, but it has been confirmed that the costs of using the new digital system will have to be met by employers. The REC will continue to encourage the Home Office to review the costs of the new system to ensure candidates are not disadvantaged.

DfE Campaign on attracting Supply Teachers
As part of the Department for Education's (DfE) campaign to encourage supply teachers back into schools, they have produced a toolkit to assist suppliers and agencies. This toolkit contains digital assets that you can use across your communications channels to help promote the government’s call to action on supply teaching. These include digital banners in different formats for use on your website or emails and images for social media activity. These resources are available to download from the REC's website.

Umbrella company call for evidence roundtable
On 25 January, the REC will be hosting a roundtable session with representatives from the department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to discuss their and HMRC's call for evidence on umbrellas companies as part of the process of legislating them. The aim of the session will be to build an up to date understanding of the umbrella company market, and specifically the role umbrella companies play, their utility in the labour market, behaviours that are causing concern, and umbrella companies’ interaction with employment tax and employment rights systems. The session will last for 90 minutes between 11am and 12:30pm. If you are interested in attending, please email sam.beggs@rec.uk.com

Possible HGV Skills Bootcamps extension
This week, the Department for Education (DfE) hosted two market engagement sessions on HGV skills bootcamps and a possible extension of the program. The department is keen to understand if there's still demand for future procurement and if there was sufficient resource in terms of testing, vehicle, and tutor capacity. The DfE also wants to hear if procurement times and current pathways are correct. Members with prior experience of using the program, or those who previously missed out are encouraged to get in touch . Please email luiza.gomes@rec.uk.com to share any feedback.

Disability Reporting Consultation
Before Christmas, the government launched a consultation regarding the possible introduction of disability workforce reporting (either mandatory or voluntary) for large companies. This consultation has been launched as part of the government’s wider National Disability Strategy. As this is an issue that will possibly affect large parts of the UK recruitment industry, including your own organisations, the REC is keen to hear from you on this issue to ensure our response to the consultation is reflective of the views of the industry. To offer feedback, please email patrick.milnes@rec.uk.com.

CDEI feedback
Following the publication of the REC's joint guidance with the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI) on the use of data driven tools in recruitment, the CDEI is keen to speak with agencies that have used the guidance. The CDEI is interested in discussing the process of adopting these technologies with REC members going through that process. If you are interested in speaking with the CDEI or providing any feedback, please email patrick.milnes@rec.uk.com.

Changes to the immigration system for workers in social care announced
Following REC's labour shortages campaign, the Home Office has announced temporary changes to visa requirements for those in the social care sector. Additionally, occupations within the sector are set to be added to the Shortage Occupation List from early 2022, including care workers, care assistants and care home workers. These temporary measures will be in place for a 12-month period, making it easier for social care employers to fill gaps in the workforce.

Following on the announcement, the Home Office is hosting two webinars on Social Care: Recruiting an overseas Care Worker under the Points Based System Sessions. These will provide an overview of the points based system, routes available for the care sector and how to become a sponsor. Please follow the links to register for one of the dates: 21 January and 25 January.

Research Corner
The KMPG and REC’s latest UK Reports on Jobs showed that recruitment consultancies across the UK continued to signal tight labour market conditions at the end of 2021. Permanent staff appointments and temp billings continued to rise at historically sharp rates, despite the upturns remaining weaker than the peaks seen during the summer.  At the same time, there were signs that candidate availability was moving in the right direction, with the latest drop in staff supply the least severe in eight months.

Last month the REC published the latest Recruitment industry status report 2020-21, where we bring the latest figures for the value and size of the staffing industry and the number of people we place into work.