July figures: Latest Jobs Numbers At Odds With GDP Picture
July’s numbers paint a significantly healthier picture of the state of the UK economy than the most recent GDP numbers would indicate. The Reed Job Index for July stands at 138 compared with 122 at the same time last year and 134 in June.
www.reed.co.uk/jobindex July 2012
Queen’s speech – What are the key areas for recruiters?
The Queen’s speech outlined the Government’s legislative programme for the coming year. There are a number of areas with a direct implications for the recruitment industry:
Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill
The speech included specific proposals for streamlining regulations and boosting economic growth though a new ‘Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill’. The stated aim is to reduce burdens on business by repealing unnecessary legislation and refocusing Government inspections.
The REC has already been working with Government on this agenda through the ‘red-tape challenge’ and met with the Employment Relations Minister Norman Lamb on the same day as the Queen’s speech to provide the latest industry perspective. Our priority is to ensure that the Government’s moves beyond the rhetoric to deliver the best possible regulatory environment for our industry backed by a targeted enforcement regime.
Flexible Work – Children and Families Bill
New measures in the Children and Families Bill will see Maternity Leave become Parental Leave, enabling mothers and fathers to share childcare responsibilities in the way that suits them best. Some employer bodies have come out against the changes, fearing additional complexity and burden for businesses, but the new way of splitting leave presents an opportunity for recruiters, many of whom are already well versed in sourcing maternity cover across a range of business sectors. It is a chance for recruiters to take on more of a consultative role, helping their clients effectively resource new gaps that emerge in their workforce as a result of the changes.
The Children and Families Bill was also expected to include an extension of the Right to Request to all workers, but it remains unclear whether this reform has actually made it into the Bill at this stage. The REC’s Flexible Work Commission will look closely at this issue in its forthcoming report, and is expected to present a number of more effective alternative routes to bolster the UK’s flexible labour market.
Modernising the pensions system
Plans for further Pensions reform remain a controversial topic. The intent is to modernise the state Pension system through the creation of a single tier pension which will be set above the basic pension credit means-test. It will also serve to increase the state pension age to 67 between 2026 and 2028. On the back of this, the role of agency work as a means of staying in work longer but in a more flexible capacity will become increasingly important.
https://www.rec.uk.com/press/news/2109 10 May 2012