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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation

Latest news from policy and research

Government and campaigns

With just over 40 working days until the end of the transition period, England in another month-long lockdown, and various restrictions in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland ongoing, there is likely to be more friction in already turbulent times. On this occasion, schools and universities are allowed to remain open and government has confirmed that the Job Retention Scheme will be extended. Our Covid-19 Hub has been updated with further guidance and information.

Last chance to help us stand up for you!

This year we’re doing our annual industry survey a little differently. It will form part of a ground-breaking study into the economic and social impact of the recruitment industry, that you can use in client pitches, for business planning and we can use in lobbying government and in the media.

All REC members should have received their unique survey link last week, and the survey closes very soon. We cannot do this without your help, so please take a few minutes to complete the survey and help us stand up for what you do. It is entirely anonymous. If you can’t find your survey link, please email

Brexit and immigration

As EU-UK talks reach crunch-point, we urge members to access our newly updated Brexit checklist. The REC continues to lobby for clarity on your behalf but the clock is ticking, and the time to prepare is now. We will keep updating the checklist as and when more information becomes available.

The Home Secretary has published the statement of changes to the Immigration Rules. The Government did not take the advice and recommendations of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to review the Shortage Occupation List (SOL). We have endorsed the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) statement calling for all skills levels be part of the SOL and for an immediate review of the SOL.

Education sector

On Wednesday two trade unions, NEU and NASUWT, launched a campaign to end the use of supply agencies by schools. They suggested that supply teachers could be directly employed by schools and academies. Chief Executive Neil Carberry issued a robust response, calling the idea “ludicrous”, and calling on the unions to work with agencies and the REC, rather than engaging in empty rhetoric. In addition, the REC sent letters to the heads of both unions and the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson.

Supporting public sector procurement

Agency staff are especially crucial for the public sector workforce, providing flexibility when dealing with seasonal changes - but never more so than during this pandemic. With a wide variety of procurement opportunities at the moment, the REC is here to help members navigate this increasingly complex landscape. We have brought the information together in this summary table, with all live and future tenders into one place. This blog explains what members need to know.

Research corner

REC's latest Report on Jobs showed a slight fall in the number of permanent placements made by recruiters, after two months of growth. With more uncertainty in the outlook and rising COVID cases, some employers were postponing their hiring plans. Meanwhile, temporary billings continued to rise strongly, with some employers preferring to hire temporary staff in place of permanent staff due to the heightened uncertainty. Candidate availability also continued to rise sharply because of redundancies and fear of redundancy caused by COVID.

Coming up

  • On Tuesday 10 November, the REC will be hosting a virtual Inclusive Recruitment Forum to explore how the recruitment industry can continue to support the diversity and inclusion agenda amid the changing labour market. We are thrilled to be joined by representatives from PWC, the CBI and Movement to Work.
  • Join the Education sector webinar on Wednesday 11 November at 1pm. There will be legal and policy updates from the REC, as well as an update from the DfE.
  • Join our free Future of Jobs event on 2 December, with some of the UK's experts on the future of work as we look at the regional jobs market post-Covid, and building the bridge between education and work.
  • The European Confederation of Search and Selection Associations (ECSSA) have launched their annual survey into the state of the industry to anticipate industry’s short-term and mid-term developments. REC members are welcome to fill in the survey.