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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation
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In your corner: REC Campaigns and Policy news 21 April

Government and campaigns

After a gloriously sunny Easter Weekend, it's back to work for the REC Campaigns team. With parliament’s recess coming to an end, there is plenty going on over the next few weeks.

Below are some of the key updates and events that members should be aware of over the coming weeks.

Health and Social Care Webinar

The second healthcare sector meeting of the year is taking place on 5 May from 1pm to 2:30pm in a hybrid format. We will hear from NHS framework operators as well as the REC legal and campaigns teams. For the first time since the pandemic, we are opening the doors of the REC office to members for this meeting. We look forward to welcoming our members in-person on the day but an option to join virtually will also be available. If you are interested, please register here.

Government Equalities Office (GEO) Roundtable on Pay Transparency

Following the government’s recent announcement that they are launching a pay transparency pilot; the REC is working with the GEO to help establish the format of the pilot. As part of this we are hosting a virtual roundtable with GEO officials and REC members to discuss pay transparency, what employers currently do, and what more can be done. This virtual roundtable is being held at 12pm on Thursday 5th of May - if you would like to attend this meeting, please email Patrick.milnes@rec.uk.com.

Department of Labour Market Enforcement (DLME) Call for Evidence

Last week, the DLME launched their call for evidence to inform the UK Labour Market Enforcement Strategy 2023/24. The REC will be responding to this consultation, but members who wish to respond separately can do so here. The DLME is particularly interested in evidence and views about emerging risks to labour market non-compliance. As part of the REC’s response, we will be hosting a meeting for REC members so that they can input their views to our response. This meeting will be held on teams at 11am on Thursday 12th May - if you would like to attend, please email Patrick.milnes@rec.uk.com.

Department For Education (DfE) Update on Ukrainian Refugees

The DfE has issued some guidance to support schools and agencies to help them ensure that refugees from Ukraine have the access to education they require. They have also developed a welcome pack to share with refugees arriving in the UK. These resources can be found on the REC’s Ukraine hub.

Ukraine: Guidance for Employers and Landlords

The Home Office, Department for Work and Pensions, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, and the Refugee Employment Network are hosting an explanatory webinar on visa routes for Ukrainian nationals, how to carry out right to work/rent checks, and support and guidance for employers and landlords. There will be further information on how employers can help Ukrainian nationals who decide to take up employment whilst in the UK. This webinar is taking place on Friday 29th April 2022 at 11am and will also feature a short Q&A for attendees to ask questions over the topics discussed. To register for this event please sign up here.

Research Corner

The REC’s latest JobsOutlook showed that in January-March 2022, employers’ concerns about the prospects for the UK economy worsened for the fifth rolling quarter in a row. The REC’s measure of business confidence in the economy improved slightly in the New Year but then fell back to net: -11 in January-March, the same level as in October-December 2021. Despite this, more employers remained positive than negative about their ability to hire.

We also published the KMPG and REC’s UK Reports on Jobs which highlighted softer rises in hiring activity during March, as candidate shortages restricted growth of both permanent placements and temp billings. Nonetheless, expansions remained sharp by historical standards, fuelled by a further steep increase in demand for staff.

Media Watch

This week Kate Shoesmith, Deputy CEO, appeared on Ian King Live on Sky News to discuss the latest Jobs Outlook report.

Employers’ confidence in the UK economy took a turn for the worse during the first quarter of 2022 as inflation reached its highest for 30 years.

Despite this, more employers remained positive than negative about their ability to hire. The REC’s JobsOutlook survey found that UK businesses’ confidence in hiring was at net: +8 in January-March 2022. This was one percentage point lower than in the last quarter of 2021.