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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation

In your corner - REC Campaigns and Policy news 21 September

Government and campaigns

Patrick Milnes avatar

Written by Patrick Milnes Campaigns Advisor

Following the sad death and funeral of her late Majesty, the Queen, the country is now beginning, slowly and respectfully to return to normality. There are a number of challenges facing business so we will be resuming our external engagement with stakeholders on your behalf. The new Prime Minister and her cabinet have been confirmed, and REC has been reaching out to relevant ministers this week to drive our messages around Overcoming Shortages, share our manifesto for growth, and discuss other key issues including this week's emergency "fiscal event" on Friday.

Government outlines plans to help cut energy bills for businesses

The government has confirmed plans to help businesses face the rising cost of energy bills this winter. They have  set a Supported Wholesale Price – expected to be £211 per MWh for electricity and £75 per MWh for gas, which will apply to fixed contracts agreed on or after 1 April 2022, as well as to variable and flexible tariffs and contracts . It will apply to energy usage from 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023, with a review after three months into a possible extension for some sectors particularly those that are deemed vulnerable We don't yet know what will define vulnerable in this context.  

Whilst this is a welcome step in the right direction, the announced support only lasts for six months, meaning businesses only have short-term stability for planning purposes, at a time of economic uncertainty. In our budget submission to the Treasury, we suggested the government should set a guarantee for at least 12 months, followed by a review, and we will continue to push this message.

The REC at Party Conferences

The REC Campaigns team will be attending both Labour and Conservative party conferences this year. REC CEO, Neil Carberry will be taking part in a panel event, jointly hosted by the REC and World Skills UK looking at "jobs and prosperity: the case for a skills economy" at Labour conference. That will be on Sunday 25 September at 12:45pm. REC Deputy CEO, Kate Shoesmith will be taking part in the same discussion at Conservative Party Conference at 10am on Tuesday 4 October. If you're attending any of the conferences this year, please do come along to the REC's event, and drop us an email on and someone from the team will be happy to organise to see you there.

Restart Scheme: REC and Maximus partnership update

At the 2020 Spending Review, the then Chancellor allocated £2.9 billion for the new Restart scheme, which gives Universal Credit claimants who have been out of work due to the pandemic additional support to get into work. Commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions, the Restart scheme is currently delivered across England and Wales. Maximus - an employability services provider- operate in the North (South & West Yorkshire, Derbyshire, and Nottinghamshire) and the South (South & East London).

The REC and Maximus partnership has already proven successful, with 130 people placed into new roles through REC work so far this year. Our work with Maximus is bespoke to individual companies and sectors and is offered as part of REC membership.

To find out more about the partnership, please reach out to Alice, looking after the North, or Chantell, looking after London and the South. They can be reached via or

What are the barriers and enablers to using AI in Recruitment?

As part of the UK Government AI Assurance Roadmap the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI) is seeking perspectives from key industries to better understand barriers and enablers to using AI. They are particularly interested in the role of industry executives in the recruitment industry for driving the demand for AI assurance. In this context, AI assurance refers to the wider governance and regulation of AI to manage risk.

CDEI is interested in hearing from REC members who can offer valuable insights in this space.  If you are involved in the procurement and/or deployment of AI systems, CDEI would like to invite you to participate in an interview to hear more about your views and experiences with AI assurance. This interview will focus specifically on technical standards and a range of AI assurance techniques.

If you are interested, please contact Nuala Polo at CDEI, who will follow up with additional details.

Digital Right to Work Changes Coming

It is now just over a week until the rules around Right to Work (RTW) Checks change on 30 September. A full explanation of what is changing and why, as well as what this means for your business can be found in our blog on what changes are being made to right to work. Additionally, a full list of approved IDSPs can be found on the Home Office website, or contact Amiqus, one of the REC's preferred IDVT suppliers.

DHSC thanks agencies and recognises a need to collaborate to ensure a sustainable workforce

The former Health Minister, Maria Caulfield MP, has written to the REC to thank agencies for their work and to recognise the need to collaborate to ensure a long-term sustainable workforce. This came in response to a letter from the REC to DHSC ministers in April 2022 where we urged the department to undertake a fundamental review of the workforce procurement system. Caulfield concluded the letter by saying that various industry stakeholders need to work together to create a sustainable NHS workforce. REC will be picking these issues up with Caulfield's replacement with a view to discussing how we can collaborate on this moving forward.

Healthcare Sector Meeting

The last healthcare sector meeting of 2022 is taking place at 1pm on 11 October, which you can register to attend here. We will welcome three speakers: Jane Culshaw, Counter-Avoidance Engagement Lead at HMRC to provide an update on compliance and umbrella companies, Dave Worboys, Risk, Intelligence, Performance and Engagement Manager from the Employment Agency Standards team in BEIS to discuss inspections in the care sector, and Amiqus, an approved IDSP and REC business partner. The REC’s campaigns and legal teams will also provide updates. The meeting will take place in a hybrid format, so that members can dial in remotely or come to the REC office at Dorset House.

Research Corner

The REC’s latest JobsOutlook survey shows that business confidence in the UK economy fell by a further 9% from the previous rolling quarter. Employers’ confidence in making hiring and investment decisions also fell by 7%, the lowest figure since the start of 2022. However, employers are still looking to hire both perm and temp positions so overall the labour market continues to show resilience.

Next week, we’ll be publishing our latest Labour Market Tracker, so keep an eye out for the latest insight into how the jobs market is evolving.