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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation

Campaigns Roundup

Government and campaigns

Patrick Milnes avatar

Written by Patrick Milnes Campaigns Advisor

It’s been another tough couple of weeks for Rishi. The cost-of-living crisis continues to bite, and his party is once again wracked by internal issues, with speeding tickets a point of contention and partygate re-rearing its ugly head. And to top matters off, last weekend he had to watch as his beloved Southampton got relegated from the Premier League. Still, it’s not all bad news for the Prime Minister, as newly published ONS data showed inflation falling to 8.7% in April from 10.1% the previous month and he enjoyed a (hopefully) productive trip to the G7 summit.

The REC have also had a productive couple of weeks, and we’ve once again be busy driving our messaging on behalf of the industry. Here’s the latest updates from our work.

NHS agency workers’ right to backlog bonus

The REC recently wrote to the Minister for Health and Secondary Care, Will Quince MP to urge the department to ensure agency workers across NHS England can be considered for the one-off backlog bonus. You can view the full letter here, where we highlighted the importance of 12-week equal treatment being observed and Regulation 6 (3) of the Agency Worker Regulations 2010, which includes "bonuses payable on the basis of individual performance over a given period." Shortly after, we had confirmation that Agenda for Change uplifts will be applicable to agency workers on assignment for over 12 weeks, but no additional clarification about eligibility for the one-off backlog bonus payment, this is something we will continue to push for.

Home Office consider future changes to digital RTW

This week the REC, along with REC member Prime Appointments, met with the Home Office to continue to drive our messaging around the inefficiencies in the digital right to work (RTW) system. This meeting gave us an opportunity to reiterate our concerns over the limited documents that can be used for a check through new IDVT system, and the need for accreditation for all IDVT providers. The Home Office has confirmed their plans to explore expanding the eligible documents, subject to technology and security requirements, and will also be undertaking a formal internal assessment process regarding making accreditation mandatory. REC will continue to engage with the Home Office on these issues as these processes develop.

The REC’s call on the government to rethink of curbs on social workers

In light of the consultation carried out by the Department for Education (DfE) on agency social workers, the REC surveyed applicable workers and found that four in ten temporary social workers in children’s social care are likely to leave the profession entirely if proposed government reforms go ahead. Along with the REC’s formal response to the consultation, we have also shared the survey results with DfE.  Our findings demonstrate the value and importance of agencies and agency workers as well as potential ramifications the proposed measures might have on the future workforce. You can find about more about the survey results through this press release.

Meeting with ADSS Cymru discussing agency social workers

Earlier this month, the REC met with colleagues from the Association of Directors of Social Services (ADSS) Cymru who have recently announced the All Wales Pledge. With the Pledge, the ADSS has introduced a series of new measures to restrict agencies and agency workers including capped rates and post-qualification requirement to work with an agency. In this meeting, we discussed the proportion of agency social workers in Wales, and the importance of flexible working. However, the main point we agreed on was that engagement between ADSS, agencies, and social workers is crucial going forward. The REC and ADSS Cymru will meet regularly to discuss the progress of direction of All Wales Pledge where the REC will represent the views of our members and their workers.

The REC’s statement regarding social workers in Northern Ireland

We are aware of the messaging that members in Northern Ireland have received from their workers and clients regarding "a ban" on agency social workers from 30 June 2023. The REC is greatly concerned about this, not only for our members and their workers but also for end-service users who will be put at risk. The REC has been seeking clarity from the Business Services Organisation (BSO) for a number of months, with their last response in April 2023 stating that the requirements for the next iteration of the framework and tender process had “not been confirmed”. The REC has now requested an urgent meeting with the BSO given the timing and seriousness of the proposal. You can view our full statement here.

Low Pay Commission annual consultation

The Low Pay Commission (LPC) has opened its annual consultation on recommendations for the national minimum wage. REC will be submitting a response to the LPC on behalf of the industry, but members can also submit their own responses ahead of the submission deadline on 9 June. To feed into the REC's submission, please email

Research Corner

The REC’s latest JobsOutlook found that in February-April 2023, employers' confidence in making hiring and investment decisions was restored to positive territory (net: +2) for the first time since January-March 2022. Also, business confidence in the UK economy continued to rally and rose by 8% to net: -43 compared to December 2022- February 2023. Reflecting the general preference for temporary workers, hiring outlook for agency workers in the short-term improved significantly to net: +18 and reached its highest level since December 2021-February 2022. Employers’ intentions to hire permanent staff continued to increase in the short- and medium-term, especially in private sector.

Look out for our upcoming Report on Jobs which will be published on 8th June.