With the conclusion of the snap General Election, the Recruitment sector has responded to the result.
ARC comments on the results of the 2017 general election:
“Whatever shape the new government takes, now more than ever, it will need to listen to sensible and practical advice as it steers the country through difficult Brexit negotiations.” says Adrian Marlowe, chairman of the Association of Recruitment Consultancies (ARC).
“High on the governments list, at a time of financial uncertainty, should be the need to create an environment that is attractive to both internal and external investors. One of the conditions for that will be suitable flexibility in the workforce.
“As debate about future direction evolves, there is an opportunity to influence the new government. The Taylor Review is due to report this summer, and its outcome is likely to bear strongly on our sector. To help ensure that the recruitment industry is not side-lined there needs to be unity behind a single, strong voice that calls for a modern and progressive vision for labour relations.”
ARC has been articulating this position since it launched its own manifesto last year. Marlowe concludes, “Our positions remain the same as we call on the new government to:
- Adopt a single, positive, overarching policy towards the recruitment sector
- Scrap antiquated tests in the agency tax rules and implement a simplified tax policy towards contractor supply
- Remove ambiguities in employment status rules, with a set of rights for agency workers that is clear and distinct, so that we can all focus on progress rather than dispute.
“At a time of uncertainty, ARC will continue to reiterate its faith in the recruitment industry as a leading component of our socio-economic make up.”
Full details of ARC’s proposals can be found by visiting http://www.arc-org.net/arc-manifesto-2016/
Julia Kermode is chief executive of The Freelancer & Contractor Services Association (FCSA), the UK’s largest independent trade association whose members provide professional support services to freelancers and contractors. On the Election result she says:
“More than ever, we want to see the political parties co-operating and working together to bring economic security. Brexit has left the UK facing enough uncertainty and today’s result will have added to that insecurity. However, we know that the Government needs to be in situ by June 19th when the Queen’s speech takes place but whichever leader moves into No 10 we would urge them to put employment and self-employment issues at the top of the agenda in its mission to create that all-important stability.
During uncertain times we know that freelancers and contractors are key to the economy and they need to be allowed to work and thrive without the shackles of red tape and burdensome legislation that holds them back. There are some 4.8 self-employed freelancers, contractors, interims and consultants choosing to work self-employed in the UK today. These workers offer experience, expertise and knowledge and businesses can glean the benefits without committing themselves to all the costs (and risks) that come with hiring a full-time employee, such as NI contributions, holiday pay, sickness pay, maternity/paternity rights. What’s more, flexible workers can hit the ground running to be available to businesses on an ‘as needs basis’ and MPs should recognise that such workers are key to keeping the economy steady as we face a turbulent time ahead.” New government must prioritise the UK jobs market – REC
Responding to the results of the UK general election, REC chief executive Kevin Green says:
“The nation has voted, however it remains unclear this morning who will be occupying Number 10 or forming our next government. Uncertainty creates a vacuum so we urge the politicians to reach an agreement quickly and to prioritise prosperity and jobs.
“Whatever the outcome, the REC will work hard over the coming days, weeks and months to build links with the new government and to make them aware of the positive contribution our industry makes to the UK economy and labour market.
“Whoever takes the reigns must front up quickly to challenges including the imminent Brexit negotiations which will shape the jobs market over the next decade. The UK has labour, skill and talent shortages and the evidence points to the situation getting worse before it gets better. Organisations are only as good as the people they hire. In hospitals, schools, start-ups or in larger businesses, employers are deeply concerned about the impact on their business of not being able to find people for the jobs they have available.
“Recruiters are jobs market experts, and we will urge policy-makers to collaborate with the REC and our members to build the best jobs market in the world.”
Ahead of the general election, the REC asked 201 employers what they thought should be the new government’s top priority for the labour market, and found:
- a third (33 per cent) said the new government should develop a strategy to make sure businesses have people with the skills they need
- one in five (20 per cent) said the new government should agree a post-Brexit immigration system that helps businesses find the people they need
- 11 per cent said the government must ensure that regulations reflect modern working practices.
The REC’s ‘manifesto for jobs’, published in May, set out the professional body’s recommendations for the next government. It called on policy-makers to:
- prepare young people for jobs of the future by embedding employability within the school curriculum and aligning the skills market with labour market needs
- introduce a new training levy to help people in non-permanent roles who are excluded from the Apprenticeship Levy
- build a pragmatic post-EU immigration system that reflects the needs of businesses in different sectors and regions.
Pro-business, pro-freelancing Government partnership is key.
Following a hung parliament in the General Election, leading contractor tax adviser, Qdos Contractor, has called for any incoming Government to prioritise business, and the growing needs of the UK’s 2million independent workers.
Qdos Contractor CEO, Seb Maley, commented:
“Following a hung parliament, uncertainty is inevitable, from a political and business perspective. And it’s in times of uncertainty that the UK’s independent workforce has shown its true value to the economy, contributing £119bn in 2016 – a year dominated by Brexit concerns.
“It’s time the growing needs of the UK’s 2million freelancers and contractors were truly prioritised. Questionable recent changes to the tax system have targeted the independent workforce. This cannot go on.
“It’s clear that any incoming Government has a fresh opportunity to work with freelancers and contractors to build a fairer, smarter and simplified tax system – and one which the independent workforce, the economy and indeed any Government will benefit from.”
“We urge politicians and political parties to think carefully about who they form a partnership with, for the good of the UK, the prosperity of business and to help our influential independent workforce to thrive.”
APSCo responds to shock hung parliament result
Commenting on the unexpected result of the UK General Election, Samantha Hurley, Director of Operations at APSCo, comments;
“It seems that Theresa May’s gamble on calling a snap election hasn’t paid off and it is unfortunate that this result does not offer the level of stability that the UK desperately needs. In light of this uncertainty, the next Government should be especially careful to avoid knee jerk changes to taxation, employment regulation or visa controls associated with our exit from the EU.”
“The impact of this result on both the permanent and flexible labour markets has the potential to be significant. Ever since the phrase ‘gig economy’ was coined, media attention has consistently focused on lower skilled and lower paid workers and we are absolutely determined to ensure that the new Government recognises that professional independent flexible talent is not only a completely distinctive group within the gig economy but that it also has a critical role to play in the future success of the UK plc. We hope the new administration will be open to working closely with us to ensure collateral damage is kept to a minimum.”