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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation
Insight

In your corner: REC Campaigns and Policy news - 22 April 2021

Government and campaigns

Luiza Gomes avatar

Written by Luiza Gomes Campaigns Advisor

The weather is nice, lockdown is easing, and some sense of normality seems to be on the horizon. The labour market saw the biggest increase in job posts and hiring activity since the pandemic hit. We have reasons to feel positive and, meanwhile, REC's campaigns team have been busy ensuring the industry is well represented as the new reality unfolds.

Changes in Right to Work (RTW)

Following the easing of lockdown, the temporary adjustments made to Right to Work (RTW) checks are due to end - against REC's advice. From 17 May 2021, a scanned copy or a photo of original documents will no longer provide a defence against liability for a civil penalty and you must follow the right to work checks: an employer's guide.

Alternatively, where applicable, you can use the Home Office right to work online service, where information is provided in real-time direct from Home Office systems and does not require you to see or check the individual’s physical documents. However, employers cannot insist individuals use this service or discriminate against those who choose to use their documents to prove their right to work. Please check this factsheet for more information.

The REC will write to government to ask for a delay to these changes until lockdown is fully ended, at least, and push hard on retaining virtual checks.

RTW and Retrospective checks

The Home Office have decided to remove the requirement to conduct a retrospective RTW check. This means there is no requirement to carry out retrospective checks on those who had a COVID-19 adjusted check between 30 March 2020 and 16 May 2021 (inclusive). If you followed the Government's guidance during that period, you will maintain a defence against civil penalty. However, any individual identified with no lawful immigration status in the UK may be liable to enforcement action. Further information is available on GOV.UK.

Open consultations

The REC is always keen to hear your views and case studies to form our consultation responses. Have your say by emailing us at policy@rec.uk.com.

  • On Monday the Department for Education published their consultation on the new Flexi-Job Apprenticeships scheme. This consultation is open until June and offers business the opportunity to feedback on the government’s vision for flexi-job apprenticeships, the operating framework for flexi-job apprenticeship schemes and the £7m fund to boost flexi-job apprenticeships.
  • On 14 April 2021, the Department for Health and Social Care launched a five-week consultation on making vaccination a condition of deployment in older adult care homes except for those with a legitimate medical exemption in line with government guidance. You can find more information about it here.

Research corner

Our latest Jobs Recovery Tracker was published last week, indicating continued growth in job adverts as economic outlooks and business confidence improve.

  • 140,000 new jobs posted in the week 5-11 April, giving a total of 1.37 million active job adverts in the UK.
  • The three best weeks for new postings since the start of the pandemic have come since 8 March, suggesting an increase in hiring as restrictions begin to ease and the economy starts to re-open.
  • Continued increase in job adverts for roles in hospitality and leisure industries, as well as an increased demand for technical occupations.
  • Regional growth led by Hartlepool & Stockton-on-Tees, while Medway saw the biggest fall in active job postings.

With the vaccine roll-out well underway and the government’s plans to ease restrictions, it is encouraging to see growth in job adverts in the hospitality and leisure industry. There were increases in active postings for bar (+7.6%) and waiting staff (+3.8%), leisure and sports managers (+4.4%) and hotel and accommodation managers (+2.1%) in the first week of April.

Upcoming sectorial webinars:

Sector group forums bring together recruiters with common business and industry interests to share knowledge, hear from expert business advisors and key industry stakeholders and get the latest information affecting their industry sector. Upcoming ones are: