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Government and campaigns
The future of jobs around the UK
After taking stock of the jobs market in Scotland, we made virtual pit-stops in Northern Ireland and Wales to complete our tour of the devolved nations. What’s clear is that recruiters across the UK are optimistic about the mid and longer-term outlook, but there is an urgent need to address the immediate legacies of the Covid-19 crisis. Look out for our regional Future of Recruitment whitepapers on our Observatory.
Making healthcare procurement work for our members
Responding to our members' concerns, we have made strong representations to HealthTrust Europe, challenging them on several aspects of their new Total Workforce Solutions II tender; some of which we believe are particularly detrimental to SMEs. We know that our 500 plus health and social care members are committed to complying with the agency rules and reducing spend wherever possible, but some of the terms laid out in the latest tender are problematic.
Urging Government for SSP support
The REC, along with the Association of Labour Providers (ALP), APSCO and Team, have written a joint letter to Jesse Norman MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, asking to extend the 14-day refund to employers with more than 250 employees on PAYE payrolls. Many of our members have few staff of their own, but a sizeable payroll of agency workers. This exposes them to the financial impact of SSP, an employer cost that is challenging to claim back from end-user clients.
Getting people back to work
We have been working hard with government on schemes to help people back into jobs following the Covid-19 crisis. We continue to engage with the Treasury and DWP on how specialist recruiters can help. We’ve collaborated with the Institute for Employment Studies on a short paper - No time to lose: Getting people into work quickly. The report recommends access to online help, support from advisors where appropriate, and access to a range of skills training and job search guidance. These resources will be more readily available via the new “Into Work” offer supported by Jobcentre Plus, recruitment agencies, and employment services providers.
REC member Simon Conington (BPS World) has given evidence to the House of Lords on recruitment and international trade. This is growing as an issue for our sector and we are liaising with the Department for International Trade to make sure trade issues for the recruitment sector are understood.
Chancellor’s Summer statement
The Chancellor is expected to announce new fiscal measures next week (8 July) during the Summer Statement. The REC is calling on the Chancellor to cut active taxes such as VAT, employer’s NI and Business Rates, to help drive up business spending and reduce employment costs. We are particularly keen to see action on the Apprenticeship Levy.
- Business confidence in the economy has improved by 17 percentage points in the last month.
- Hiring intentions in the short term have improved, rising from net: -9 in April to net: +6 in June.
- Hiring intentions in the medium term have also increased, rising to net: +15 in June.
Look out for our next Jobs Recovery Tracker published tomorrow, for a detailed breakdown of the regional jobs market.
This week we say goodbye to Director of Policy and Campaigns Tom Hadley. Tom has been at the REC for more than 16 years and is a household name in our industry. We also say goodbye to Policy Advisor Chris Russell and Policy Officer Lola Kveton. We wish you all well in the next chapter of your careers.
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