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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation
Insight

In your corner: REC Campaigns and Policy news - 5 May 2022

Government and campaigns

Yerin Seo avatar

Written by Yerin Seo Senior Campaigns Advisor

Happy polling day! Many of us will be out and about casting our ballot at local council elections today. We’re choosing the people and the party who will be responsible for housing, social care, planning issues amongst others. These elections are significant in a couple of ways. These are the first local elections at scale after Brexit. And we’re about halfway through to the next General Election. Partygate, the war in Ukraine and net zero… these are some of the current ‘hot topics’ from the national level which may influence voting today. And the cost-of-living crisis, crime rates and quality affordable housing will be top of mind for many.  

By tomorrow morning, we will find out the shape of local governments for the next four years which will also impact the campaign priorities of various parties for the next General Election. And the campaigns team will be here, to represent our members at all levels, whether that involves councillors, MPs or ministers. In fact, the team has been in touch with many of our stakeholders in the last couple of weeks, including one Secretary of State and two Special Advisors. More on our campaigns activities below. 

The REC write to Sajid Javid, Health Secretary, on the rate card and price caps

On 27 April 2022, the REC’s Deputy CEO, Kate Shoesmith wrote to Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, urging the department to carry out a fundamental review of the workforce procurement system. This follows the publication of the latest agency price card from NHS England and Improvement (NHSE/I) which saw a delay and has significant impact on SMEs. In addition to our ongoing and previous engagement with NHSE/I and framework operators, the REC has written to key stakeholders across the industry. View the letter to Sajid Javid here and view our subsequent statement published here. This letter was shared across social media and with a range of trade media outlets to amplify our call for reform. You can view an article in Recruiter here.  

The REC healthcare campaign continues

In addition to the letter above, we have been in touch with teams at NHSE/I and various framework providers to ask for parity of pay between agency and substantive staff and for NI costs to not be deducted from member margins. The REC has also contacted Director General of Finance at the Department of Health, the Health Minister Edward Argar MP, two Special Advisors to the Health Secretary, NHS Professionals and the CEO of NHSE/I. We have asked to work with them to develop long-term workforce planning. The REC is active with devolved nations as well. As we understand the NHS in Wales has taken a similar approach with the new rate, the REC has been in touch with the CEO.  

We are also targeting media and social media and we have shared our letter with trade journalists and across our social channels. View the article in Recruiter here.  

REC and Fawcett Society publish #EndSalaryHistory Guidance

The REC and Fawcett Society have published joint guidance encouraging recruiters to end the practice of asking candidates what their salary was in previous roles. Asking candidates their previous salary can exacerbate gender, ethnicity and disability pay gaps so ending this practice is one step towards a more inclusive recruitment industry. REC has also signed up as an official signatory to the #EndSalaryHistory campaign to highlight our commitment to diversity and inclusion in the industry, members wishing to sign up can do so here. The guide was covered by a number of local papers and radio stations across the country, as well as People Management and Personnel Today.  

Have your say with the Director of Labour Market Enforcement (DLME)

As part of the DLME current call for evidence on their 2023/24 Strategy, the REC is hosting a roundtable for members on 12 May at 11am. This event will be attended by Margaret Beels, the current Director of Labour Market Enforcement and her wider team. This will give you an opportunity to feedback on compliance and enforcement issues directly to the DLME to be included in their 2023/24 Strategy. This will be held on Microsoft teams, and if you are interested in attending please email Patrick.milnes@rec.uk.com  

Support inclusive recruitment through the Business in the Community Opening Doors Campaign

Opening Doors is Business in the Community (BITC)’s new inclusive recruitment campaign, with an ambition to make 2 million jobs more inclusive by 2025. It calls on employers to make changes to the way they recruit people from disadvantaged groups. Find out how you can support the campaign on BITC’s website.  

Non-Clinical Staffing – PIN notice issued  

Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has published a PIN notice on Contracts Finder and Find a Tender services regarding non-clinical staffing framework. The notices can be found here. This framework will replace the existing Non Clinical Staffing agreement. The framework will be RM6277, and is provisionally titled Non Clinical Staffing 2. CCS had also launched a Supplier Survey which will remain open until Friday 13th May. You can submit your view on developing strategy for RM6277 through this survey

Media Corner – umbrellas under the spotlight

Financial Times writer Sarah O’Connor covered the issue of rogue umbrella companies in her column this week, including the REC’s persistent calls for regulation. It’s good to see this issue gaining wider attention in the media, and we hope this will help to push for quicker action from government on regulating these businesses. 

Research Corner – latest vacancy numbers

According to the REC’s latest Labour Market Tracker, there were 1.81 million job adverts in the UK in the last week of April. This was 7% more than the previous week and 15% up from a month earlier.  In the same week, there were also 173,000 new job adverts posted in the UK. 

Next week, we are also publishing the KMPG and REC’s UK Reports on Jobs so keep an eye out for the latest insight on recruitment activity.