With the latest Labour market data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) revealing that the number of vacancies in the UK reached its highest level since Q1 2020 between February and April 2021, Tania Bowers, Legal Counsel and Head of Public Policy at the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) comments:
“We’re seeing increasingly promising signs in the employment market at the moment and while we still have a long way to go – with the hardest hit industries still feeling the impact of the pandemic and reliance on the furlough scheme still in place – we’re on track for a recovery. These latest ONS figures support the recent findings from APSCo’s Recruitment Trends Snapshot report which revealed a 90% year on year spike in permanent vacancies between April 2020 and April 2021. Contract vacancies also reports an 83% increase during the same time frame.
“While this optimism is certainly welcome news for the UK’s recovery, in order to continue on this positive trajectory, working practices and employment law need to be fit for the modern world. How businesses are run and how recruitment is managed is different in a remote working environment and it’s critical that the relevant authorities are providing the necessary support that organisations currently need. The recent delay to a return to in-person Right to Work checks is one move that APSCo has welcomed – though we are urging the Home Office to prioritise the adoption of technology to switch to digital checks. However, more still needs to be done. We were disappointed not to see the Employment Bill in the Queen's Speech, for example, meaning an unwelcome delay to the regulation of umbrella companies by BEIS. It's regrettable that the labour market and particularly a review of employment status is not being prioritised in the Covid recovery.”
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