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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation

In Your Corner- REC Campaigns and Policy News 30 June 2022

Government and campaigns

Patrick Milnes avatar

Written by Patrick Milnes Campaigns Advisor

With Wimbledon kicking off this week, the REC has taken inspiration and is hoping to smash some campaigns work, make a racquet on behalf of the industry and have the ball firmly in our court ahead of the summer recess. There’s a busy few weeks coming up for the REC campaigns team as we look to serve up our “Overcoming Shortages: Creating a Sustainable Labour Market” research next month, a report that we hope can be a real ace in driving our messages forward with government and clients. There are also opportunities for the industry to feed into our campaigns work as we rally together to set our goals. There’s plenty more to say about our work this month, but I’ve run out of tennis puns so the updates below will have to do:

Campaign against the Repeal of Regulation 7

As a result of the rail strikes last week, the government has announced proposals to repeal the legal ban on agency staff filling in for striking workers which currently exists under Regulation 7 of the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003. REC is strongly opposed to this plan and has made this clear to government. As part of our effort on this, we have written to Paul Scully MP, the Minister for Labour Markets, to set out our concerns, issued a joint statement with the TUC urging government to abandon these proposals and the REC and the leaders of the largest UK staffing agencies wrote to the Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng MP, to express our concern about the proposals. REC is also meeting with Justin Madders MP, Shadow Minister for employment next week to discuss this issue further.

The REC oppose this due to our concerns over worker safety, impracticalities of providing specialist cover, and failure of this policy to address the cause of the strike – but we also know this is a political move at this stage.

If you are interested in supporting REC on this issue, we have drafted a template letter that you can send to your MP to raise concerns. A vote on this issue is expected "very quickly" so if you are keen to write to your MP, please act urgently.

Labour market inquiry

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee recently launched an inquiry into the UK’s labour market as skills and worker shortages restrain the post-pandemic recovery. MPs will examine the challenges faced by workers and employers and what the governement and companies can do support the labour market.

The Committee is seeking views on five key areas:

  1. The state of play in the UK labour market post-Brexit and the impact of the covid-19 pandemic on recruitment, skills shortages and the growth of the labour market
  2. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and technology in the workplace
  3. Workers’ rights and protections
  4. Employment status and modern working practices five years on from the Taylor Review
  5. The impact of an ageing population on the labour market

You can submit evidence on the Committee website until 8 July 2022. The REC is in the process of drafting its submission. If you’d like to feed into this or share any data, please email our Campaigns Manager, Sam via

Meeting with Matt Warman MP

Neil recently met with Matt Warman MP, who is leading the government’s review into the Future of Work. The Review will focus on several key themes including AI and technology, worker’s rights, and local regeneration. Neil took the opportunity to share views from REC members, and we’ll be sharing case studies with Matt’s office directly. If any members have case studies on any of the themes above to share, particularly the focus on ‘place’ and local work, please do get in touch with Sam on The final report is likely to be published in the Autumn.

The REC participates in a joint roundtable with DfE and BEIS

Last week, REC CEO Neil Carberry joined a rare joint roundtable with two government departments with Lee Rowley MP (Business Minister) and Alex Burghart MP (Skills Minister). The discussion focused on the economic contribution that the Professional Business Services sector makes and how much the sector invests in people, skills and training. We took the opportunity to ensure the needs of professional recruiters were heard by government.

BEIS webinars for members

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is hosting two webinars for REC members in July. On 21 July from 3-4pm, officials will talk members through what a compliant Key Information Document (KID) looks like, the common non-compliance issues EAS see and the responsibilities of an employment business. 

On 27 July, officials will talk to members about Regulation 10 and explain the legal restrictions on charging transfer fees to hirers and the steps you need to take to ensure that any transfer fees chargeable to a hirer are enforceable. 

Research corner

The REC’s quarterly JobsOutlook showed that in March-May 2022, business confidence in the UK economy fell by 12% from the previous rolling quarter to net: -39. This was driven by larger declines in sentiment in both April and May (net: -46 and net: -44 respectively). Employers’ confidence in hiring also fell to net: -7 and was the second consecutive rolling quarter where the sentiment was in negative territory.

We also published the first instalment of our Employee Engagement Guides in partnership with the IPA. These are exclusive to REC members to help recruit and retain talent and develop resilience in the face of future high impact events, such as the COVID19 pandemic.

Media Watch

The REC’s media focus has been almost entirely on regulation 7 over the past couple of weeks, and we have made our voice heard loudly and often. REC spokespeople have appeared in 10 TV and radio interviews on the issue, and we have been mentioned over 500 times in national and regional media since the plans were first floated. This includes interviews on BBC and ITV news, and mentions in almost every major newspaper in the UK, including on the front page of today's Financial Times.