Tag Archives: Contracting News

Barclay Meade report says there is a growing sense of confidence and optimism among UK employers

The ‘Tracking UK Recruitment’ report found that:

  • The proportion of medium and large employers recruiting at a similar level to the pre-recession period increased for the third consecutive quarter, reaching 50% in Q1 of this year compared to just 39% in Q3 last year
  • The proportion of firms with recruitment freezes fell from 24% in the final quarter of last year to just 13% in the first quarter of 2011.
  • 22% of employers believe that the rising price of fuel is likely to have the biggest negative impact on their recruitment strategies over the coming twelve months
  • The proportion of employers concerned about skills shortages has fallen slightly, from 27% to 20%

The Managing Director of Barclay Meade, Nigel Lynn, said that “With the latest ‘Tracking UK Recruitment’ report revealing improvements in the jobs market for the third consecutive quarter, it appears the restructuring of companies is reflecting a growing sense of confidence and optimism among employers. As we move further through this post-recession climate, there has been a shift towards more firms implementing and fulfilling growth strategies rather than focusing on stability and survival.  This has changed the mindset of employers who realise that, in order to achieve their ambitions, they will need to re-align the structure of their organisation by upskilling their workforce and recruiting leaders who are able to deliver results.”

“All in all, we are seeing confidence return to many markets, and as a result hiring strategies are changing.  The permanent jobs market is very strong at the moment and there is hope that this will continue throughout 2011, helping the private sector to offset the job losses that will be ongoing in the public sector.”

The report comes at the same time as many industry bodies are reporting increased recruitment activity in the private sector however a great deal of decline in the public sector. The REC has labelled the current situation a ‘two speed labour market’.

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax, immigration and contracting.

contact_us_tiny

Continue reading

REC warns IT recruiters not to become complacent over AWR implementation

After the meeting the Recruitment and Employment Confederations Technology Chair, Jeff Brooks, said that “Many IT recruiters have assumed that, as their candidates are self-employed and better paid than their permanent equivalents, AWR would simply not affect them. However, areas have been highlighted where trouble could arise, and underlined how important it is that members fully prepare themselves. Recruiters who talk to their clients well in advance and make the transition as smooth as possible can in fact enjoy an advantage over their competitors. To help members to do this effectively, there is an excellent support package available through the REC’s website, and we are also developing specific guidance for recruiters dealing with self-employed workers and limited company contractors.”

The meeting comes at the same time as new research from the recruitment industry body suggests that ‘awareness levels’ of the new regulations are now at 70%, far higher than they were some 18 months ago. However the REC warned that only 10% of UK employers were planning to make specific changes to their businesses now to combat the changes, with a further 42% weighing up their options.

The Head of Policy at the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, Gillian Econopouly, said that \”The fact that over 40% of employers are still considering their response to the regulations underlines how important it is for recruiters to be engaging with clients. For some employers, the AWR has been a catalyst for a more fundamental review of how they use flexible staff. In some cases, this may lead to a slight reduction in overall numbers.”

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax, immigration and contracting.

contact_us_tiny

Continue reading

Employers beginning to plan for the Agency Worker Regulations (AWR)

The Head of Policy at the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, Gillian Econopouly, said that \”The fact that over 40% of employers are still considering their response to the regulations underlines how important it is for recruiters to be engaging with clients. For some employers, the AWR has been a catalyst for a more fundamental review of how they use flexible staff. In some cases, this may lead to a slight reduction in overall numbers. However, the latest data indicates that this will be counter-balanced by businesses who are planning to actually increase their use of agency staff over the next twelve months. Recent employer workshops have seen more businesses focusing on getting best value from the flexible workforce – rather than simply seeing it as a cost to be managed. There is also an employer brand issue at play when considering how to implement the regulations. These are positive messages that we will continue to amplify through our ongoing client campaign\”.

Recently the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) said that the temporary jobs market in the UK had slowed to its slowest pace so far in 2011 with the industry body attributing the slowdown to employer uncertainty over the new Agency Worker Regulations (AWR). The REC found in its monthly jobs market survey that permanent staff appointments ‘rose at a strong and accelerated rate in April’, temporary / contract billings reduced to the lowest level of 2011 so far and the rate of inflation for permanent staff salaries increase to its highest rate for 9 months.

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax, immigration and contracting.

contact_us_tiny

Continue reading

New EU Proposals could aid Limited Company Contractors & Fledgling Recruitment Agencies

EU Commissioner, Michel Barnier, said that \”Today\’s agreement means in practical terms that the balance sheet and profit and loss accounts for these micro-businesses will be pared down to the key elements only. Publication of information will be reduced and simplified to balance sheets only and a one-stop shop. I am confident that this agreement strikes the right balance between the need for simpler procedures and the need for transparency.\”

The Head of Policy at the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, Gillian Econopouly, said that “We welcome the acknowledgement that micro-companies and start ups often struggle to cope with the administrative and financial obligations attached to running a small company, which can detract from their ability to grow a viable business. Our economy needs those with the vision and drive to start their own companies, and the fact that these entrepreneurs may not be accounting experts should not be allowed to deter real innovation. We need to strike a balance between ensuring that companies account for their activities without fettering entrepreneurial spirit through excessive regulation.”

“Hopefully these proposed rules for the smallest companies will prove a positive step towards achieving this. Many recruiters have direct experience of starting their own businesses, and of helping young companies deal with employment regulations as they expand. The REC will be happy to share this expertise with BIS ministers as they work with the European Parliament to take this sensible step forward.\”

Limited Company Contractors and those considering opening a new recruitment agency will no doubt welcome any efforts to reduce red tape and boost productivity. If it is accepted, the directive will pass into law and be applicable to all member states at some point in the future.

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax, immigration and contracting.

contact_us_tiny

Continue reading

Hays Director says 45% of Public Sector Workers face redundancy

Key Points from the report:

  • 45% of public sector workers face the prospect of redundancy
  • 80% of employers say that job security uncertainty is stopping people from looking for work in the sector
  • 51% of employers say that changes to benefits are stopping people from looking for work in the sector
  • 39% of employers say that scrutiny over pay is stopping people from looking for work in the sector
  • 60% of employers believe voluntary redundancy and retirement schemes are resulting in a loss of the best people

The Public Services Director of Hays, Andy Robling, said that “With such a widespread exodus of staff, it is highly likely that frontline services will be affected. Employers have to make cuts and drive cost savings, but they are also faced with increased demand for many frontline services, such as healthcare and education. The combination of pay scrutiny, fears around job security and critical media headlines means a stigma has started to develop around public sector careers. Many public sector workers are feeling de-motivated, devalued and stuck in less challenging careers. The public sector needs to act now to address this before it is too late.”

Earlier in the week Roger Tweedy, the Research Director at the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, said that “new research confirms the emergence of a two-tier jobs market, with 60% of public-sector employers predicting a significant impact on their workforces as cuts begin to bite. However, an unexpected surge in business confidence gives hope that private-sector employers can absorb further public-sector job losses.” The figures are backed up by reports from around the industry which illustrates that recruitment in the contract and permanent Information Technology sectors is well on the way to recovery.

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax, immigration and contracting.

contact_us_tiny

Continue reading

APSCo Joins the HM Revenue & Customs IR35 Forum

The Chief Executive of the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), Ann Swain, said that “As the industry body that represents recruitment firms that engage a high proportion of self-employed individuals in the UK, it is important that we take a front seat in these discussions. The Government has taken the view that as far as IR35 is concerned it’s better the devil you know. Some of the alternative proposals were unsatisfactory, but with the decision taken to retain IR35 it’s important that steps are taken to drastically improve the implementation of this law. We appreciate the desire amongst the professional contracting community for clarity regarding IR35, and we expect that this Forum will deliver real improvements.”

In joining the IR35 Forum APSCo is following the lead of the Professional Contractors Group (PCG) and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC). The Chair of the REC Technology Sector Group, Jeff Brooks, recently said that \”Taking part in this forum will allow the REC to push for real, substantive change in how IR35 works. We have to find a way to focus the system on the rare cases of actual disguised employment, and make sure that the vast majority of contractors who have done nothing wrong don’t have to worry about being subjected to a HMRC investigation or tribunal that could last years.”

\”It has always been the complexity of the rules, and the uncertainty they create, that has made the system unacceptable for contractors and the recruiters that find them work. This has also wasted countless hours of tax officials’ time, and it is in the interests of all sides to find a quicker, more efficient way to crack down on the few real instances of false self-employment.\”

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax, immigration and contracting.

contact_us_tiny

Continue reading

REC encourages Banks to lend to Recruitment Agencies to oil the wheels

The Chair of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, Neil Smith, said that “Recruitment agencies often have to pay workers before they receive payment from the end clients; loans from banks are the only realistic way to plug this gap and keep the agency going in the interim. A steady stream of bank funding over the next few years will therefore be vital if the recruitment industry is to continue its recovery from the recession and particularly if new agencies are to get a foothold in the market.”

“Large parts of the UK economy rely on the flexibility that agency workers provide, including in some cases the banks themselves. If the economy as a whole is going to create more jobs, then there must be sufficient support for the employment agencies who ‘oil the wheels’ of other businesses. As banks do more to support SMEs as part of their deal with the Government, it is important that the recruitment sector is included in this if all parts of the economy are going to benefit from a flexible, accessible workforce.”

Following the economic downturn many recruitment agencies faced severe funding problems, leading many to make sweeping cuts in front office staff and some to close altogether. Agencies are very important to contract assignments in particular as they act as ‘factors’ whereby they receive payment from clients at say 60 day terms but pay contractors within 7, 14 or 30 days. Without agencies clients would face far greater financial pressure with regards to cash flow and contractors would be subject to far greater payment terms, leading to contractor cash flow issues.

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax, immigration and contracting.

contact_us_tiny

Continue reading

Hays Director says Talent Shortages will test organisations

Director of Hays, Charles Logan, said that “Talent shortages will become one of the biggest challenges facing organisations over the next two decades. So while organisations can attract and recruit from a much wider geography than ever before, which has obvious advantages when skills are in short supply, the global talent pipeline will also create serious new challenges for HR to navigate. Hiring managers will need to understand the flow of their talent pipeline, knowing why people move and what drives this movement of talent around the globe. In the context of a global jobs market, whole regions, sectors or industries will need to work hard to position themselves as attractive to international professionals. The challenge may be to manage or stem a flow away from a sector or region, creating a focus on retention and attraction.”

Last month it was reported that the United Kingdom is currently experiencing a critical shortage of IT professionals skilled as security consultants and that the ‘importance of Information Technology to the UK’s infrastructure has been underestimated’. According to an industry expert, Kevin Streater who is the IT and Telecoms Executive Director at the Open University (OU), there are currently a number of highly paid security vacancies in the United Kingdom but no suitable candidates to fill them. The Chair of the Cyber Security Challenge Talent Management Committee, Kevin Streater, said that \”The importance of IT to the UK\’s infrastructure has been underestimated. We need security professionals to protect the UK\’s global internet connection. For example, if a UK bank\’s infrastructure goes down, there will be huge damage to the UK economy. Only a small number of people are addressing the skills needed.

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax, immigration and contracting.

contact_us_tiny

Continue reading

REC Jobs Survey reveals 44% of Perm Employers Plan to Increase Headcount

Roger Tweedy, the Research Director at the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, said that “This is the first real confirmation that employers are feeling more confident and are taking a long-term strategic view of their workforce planning. Creating more permanent jobs and the lifting of headcount freezes are solid indicators of this returning confidence.  This is encouraging news at what remains a difficult and volatile time for the UK jobs market. The survey also confirms the emergence of a two-tier jobs market, with 60% of public-sector employers predicting a significant impact on their workforces as cuts begin to bite.  The unexpected surge in business confidence gives hope that private-sector employers can absorb further public-sector job losses.”

Last month the Bank of Scotland revealed that the Scottish labour market is going from strength to strength with increases in both temporary and permanent recruitment activity in April 2011. The Bank of Scotland Labour Market Barometer posted a reading of 56.6 in April, up from 53.8 in March.

The Chief Economist at the Bank of Scotland, Donald MacRae, said that “The latest Report on Jobs shows a further improvement in the Scottish labour market. The number of people placed in to permanent positions increased for the seventh consecutive month, while demand for permanent staff rose markedly in April, with recruitment consultants registering a larger number of vacancies. All eight employment sectors registered greater demand for permanent staff in April. The number of temporary staff vacancies also rose in April, at the fastest rate in four months. Again, all eight employment sectors saw greater demand, with Hotel & Catering recording the strongest growth.”

Compared to 2010 the year so far has been extremely positive for highly skilled contractors with many large companies keen to roll out new projects, especially in the financial services industry.

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax, immigration and contracting.

contact_us_tiny

Continue reading

REC says temporary jobs market slowing due to uncertainty over the AWR

The Chief Executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, Kevin Green, said that “This month’s Report on Jobs shows a clear split developing in the UK labour market. Public sector employment is radically slowing while there is growth in the private sector, confirming that we are now in a two-speed jobs market. A number of permanent hires made in IT, construction and engineering suggest that employer confidence on the whole is improving but temporary employment is slowing. This month’s figures for temporary jobs are the worst we’ve seen for four months and are likely to have been caused by employer caution over the impending Agency Workers Regulations. The Government guidance, published last Friday, should act to reassure employers of the ongoing effectiveness of temporary labour and the value of being able to flex their workforces to meet demand.”

The Head of Business Services for KPMG, Bernard Brown, also went on to say that “The latest figures reveal a very mixed picture of the UK job market.  In many areas of the private sector employers feel confident to hire again on a full time basis, though the picture is very different in the public sector where hiring freezes and cost cutting seems to be the order of the day. Indeed, private sector businesses with a dependency on the public sector are clearly on a knife edge, as they wait to understand how the unfolding government policy will impact them. The fundamental issue facing the UK’s ‘twin track’ job market is whether the private sector can create enough jobs to offset the expected job losses in the public sector.”

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax, immigration and contracting.

contact_us_tiny

Continue reading