In your corner: REC Campaigns and Policy news - 8 April 2021
Government and campaigns
With all the talk about lockdown easing, the upcoming local and mayoral elections may have slipped off your radar. As part of the REC’s Recruitment for Recovery campaign, we have written to all the candidates asking them to sign-up to the REC’s Good Recruitment Charter if elected.
We have had commitments from the following mayoral candidates: Jenny Wilkinson (Lib Dem, West Midlands), Alastair Watson (Conservative, Bristol), Andy Street (Conservative, West Midlands), Dan Norris (Labour, West of England) and Caroline Gooch (Lib Dem, Bristol). The REC team will be arranging meetings with the mayors after the elections to discuss our Charter with them.
Free regular testing- deadline extension
All businesses in England are now able to sign up to the government's free COVID-19 testing programme. The deadline to register your interest has been extended to 12 April 2021. In addition, employees can now collect tests from their employer and carry them out at home. Recruitment businesses are encouraged to sign-up for the scheme here, even if their offices are currently closed.
EU Settlement Scheme deadline
With less than 100 days to go until the 30 June deadline to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme, the government continues to urge eligible citizens to do so before the closing date. More information on the support available can be found on GOV.UK.
Health and safety for agency workers
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have updated their guidance to help workers and employers in the gig economy understand their health and safety responsibilities. This guidance emphasises the equal standing of temporary and permanent employees in terms of employers’ duty of care.
As of 31 March, the Department for Education have removed access for agencies to TP Online to conduct a sole barred list check. Agencies will no longer be able to supply candidates to schools until they have a full enhanced DBS with barred list check completed. More information on why the department has made this change, and how agencies will need to operate moving forward can be found here.
Government’s plan to ease lockdown measures and vaccine progress has led to a marked improvement in recruitment activity in March. Our latest Report on Jobs survey pointed to the sharpest rise in permanent placements for nearly six years, while temp billings growth accelerated sharply. Vacancies expanded at the quickest pace since August 2018 and there are renewed increases in both starting salaries and temp pay.
This was echoed by our latest Jobs Outlook report which shows that businesses’ confidence in their ability to hire new staff continued to improve in the three months to February 2021.
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