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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation
Insight

In your corner: REC Campaigns and Policy news – 15 July 2021

Government and campaigns

It’s been an eventful and difficult start to the week across England, largely dominated by all things football and the need to tackle racism. The REC is fully committed to promoting diversity & inclusion and condemn racism in all forms. The treatment of Rashford, Sancho and Saka was despicable and the REC is determined to tackle discrimination wherever it occurs. But away from the Euros, Parliament and the REC  have also had a busy week.  The Prime Minister confirmed that England will proceed with Step 4 of the roadmap on 19 July and BEIS published updated guidance on what working in Step 4 will look like. Check the Covid hub for additional guidance on the changes.

The REC  also featured in Parliament this week via a written parliamentary question tabled by Lord Jones of Cheltenham. We will be following the answer closely and have requested a meeting with Lord Jones to discuss labour shortages in more detail. Keep reading to find out more and please reach out to us at policy@rec.uk.com if you want to discuss anything  covered in this newsletter.

REC and HMRC discuss umbrella regulation

This week, REC CEO Neil Carberry, Deputy CEO Kate Shoesmith and Recruitment Standards Director Lorraine Laryea met with Peter Downing, Deputy Director Employment Status and Intermediaries Policy at HMRC to discuss the regulation of Umbrella Companies. This gave the REC the opportunity to raise our concerns with HMRC directly over the proliferation of umbrellas offering unlawful tax avoidance schemes to workers. The regulation of umbrellas will help to minimise the risk of participating in tax avoidance schemes for workers and will allow HMRC to take stronger enforcement action against umbrellas in future.

Drivers’ shortages

To address the longstanding issue of driver shortages and its impact in the logistic sector, the Department for Transport (DfT) announced a relaxation of drivers’ hours, which can either mean an increase in the hours a driver is allowed to work in a day or a change in the weekly rest period which means they can rest less and work more. Although we welcome the Government's acknowledgement of the issue, the proposed solution does not align with asks for better working conditions and the need to make the sector more attractive. Click here to read our blog on this.

The REC will be writing to DfT to ensure future solutions are robust and effective for the industry and workers, and we welcome case studies from members. If you'd like to get involved, please contact us on policy@rec.uk.com

New Right to Work checks for EU citizens

We are keen to hear from you following the significant changes with the end of the grace period and the closure of the Settlement Scheme. Now that the changes in Right to Work (RtW) checks for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens are in full effect, we have been asked by the Home Office to provide feedback on behalf of our members.

The RtW factsheet on the Home Office's Employer Partner Pack is now updated to cover agency workers. Please let us know how this is working in practice across your business and what other challenges you're encountering due to the recent changes by writing to policy@rec.uk.com

The future of work

A Flexible Working Taskforce, established by BEIS, has been set up to enhance discussion and strengthen co-operation and co-ordination between Government Departments, business, and other groups with a common interest in promoting high quality and appropriate flexible work in the UK.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement, many employers are beginning to plan a safe return to the workplace which may include considering hybrid working for the first time. In conjunction with the taskforce, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) has published guidance on hybrid working. The guidance is intended to help businesses identify the key existing legal and practical issues they should take into account when considering this model.

The REC has been invited to join the Flexible Working Taskforce and will be feeding into future work. If you’d like to send any views on flexible working, please email us on policy@rec.uk.com

REC appoints new Campaigns Manager

Last week, Sam Beggs, the REC’s new Campaigns and Government Relations Manager joined the team. Sam, who takes over from Ornella Nsio, specialises in public affairs and government relations. Sam can be contacted at sam.beggs@rec.uk.com

Consultations

The Treasury Select Committee has launched an inquiry on Jobs, growth, and productivity after coronavirus.

To feed into REC’s response to the consultation above, please email policy@rec.uk.com

Research Corner

The KMPG and REC’s latest UK Reports on Jobs showed that recruitment activity surged again in June. Data showed that permanent staff appointments and temporary billings rose at a historic pace. At the same time, we have seen an unprecedented contraction in the overall candidate availability. The lower staff supply, and the rising demand led to a further increasing in both starting salaries and temp pay expanding at the sharpest rate since April.

The REC is also publishing the new Jobs Recovery Tracker next week, so keep an eye out for the latest insight on job adverts trend across the UK.