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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation

In your corner: REC Campaigns and Policy news - 19 May 2022

Government and campaigns

Samantha Beggs avatar

Written by Samantha Beggs Campaigns and Government Relations Manager

This week, UK inflation jumped to 9%, up from 7% in March. Prices are now rising at their fastest rate for 40 years and the painful is likely to continue as inflation is on course to get higher over the rest of this year. Just this week, Bank of England Governor, Andrew Bailey told the Treasury Select Committee that there was “not a lot” the Bank could do about 80% of the anticipated rise, as it is being imported from globally rising prices for energy and food.

While latest ONS Labour Market Statistics show there are fewer unemployed people in the UK than there are job vacancies, employment levels and hours worked are still lower than before the pandemic, as more people are not working or looking to. Over time, this will slow growth and contribute to inflation.

Unsurprisingly, that puts a lot of pressure on government. Despite claiming that “no option is off the table”, the Chancellor (along with the rest of the party) voted against Labour’s amendment to the Queens Speech, which would have introduced a one-off windfall tax on North Sea firms in a bid to help those struggling with rising energy bills.  

Whether No.11 likes it or not, the Chancellor is going to have to do more at the next Budget (emergency one or not). Although Future of Work reviews and a potential Cost of Living taskforce are welcome steps, we need to see action from government, and quickly. Encouraging growth needs to be the key focus for government moving forward.

Labour Market Enforcement consultation

Following the REC’s conversation with members and the Director of Labour Market Enforcement (DLME) Margaret Beels last week, we will be submitting our response to the call for evidence on the 2023/24 strategy next week. Members who wish to submit their own response can do so here, or you can feed in to the our response by emailing before 31 May.

In our meeting last week, the DLME expressed her disappointment at the lack of employment bill in the Queen’s Speech and reiterated her desire to deliver on umbrella regulation and the creation of a single enforcement body (SEB). The REC will be advocating for these in our response to the consultation and will continue to engage with government to push for these as well.

Our work to demonstrate the importance of the contribution of temporary workers in healthcare

The REC has written to the CEO and CFO of NHS England and Improvement – Amanda Pritchard and Julian Kelly, as part of our ongoing work to seek a fairer outcome for members in the healthcare sector. Once again, we offered our expertise into the development of a long-term workforce planning strategy and stressed the need for reform of the way caps operate. We also raised the impact of the new rate card on businesses, lack of equal treatment of temporary workforce and the need for an urgent need to review of the current procurement system. View the full letter to NHSE here.  

Inclusive Recruitment

The REC’s latest JobsOutlook survey found that inclusive recruitment techniques are not being used by a large proportion of the recruitment industry. According to the data, only 33% of recruiters include a diversity statement in their advertising, only 15% use anonymised CVs/candidate profiles and 26% of agencies ensure their interview panels are diverse. These are techniques that can have a huge impact on candidate attraction and boost inclusive recruitment. More top inclusive recruitment techniques and information on the benefits of these can be found in the REC’s Diversity & Inclusion Hub. There is more we can all be doing to make a difference on this.

Future Workforce Framework supplier day

Crown Commercial Service (CCS) is in the initial phase of developing an agreement which will replace Public Sector Resourcing. CCS is holding regular engagement events through 2022 and beyond to seek market advice on what services should be in the scope of the agreement and the best commercial model to meet public sector needs. They are holding a supplier day in London on Tuesday 31 May. If you’re interested in attending, you can register here.

Research Corner

According to the latest KPMG and REC, UK Report on Jobs survey, recruitment activity across the UK continued to rise at a robust pace in April. Ongoing candidate shortages, however, weighed on overall growth, with both permanent placements and temp billings expanding at the slowest rates for at least a year as recruiters struggled to fill vacancies.  Increased competition for candidates placed further pressure on pay, with the pace of starting salary inflation holding close to March’s survey record. Next week, we are publishing our JobsOutlook, so keep an eye out for the latest insight on hiring intentions.