Brexit update: how we’re representing you to the new government

15 Jul 2016


Since the referendum, we have engaged directly with over 500 members and taken part in over a dozen Brexit-themed events. Our aim is to help build a successful post-EU jobs market and the mass consultation exercise has resulted in two important outcomes: insight into post-referendum hiring trends and clear initial messages to take to the new Prime Minister and her Cabinet.

We have already made contact with the new ‘Brexit Unit’, the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union and other key policy makers, and we will take the priority areas highlighted below forward with the new Prime Minister and her Cabinet. We are ready to work with government to build a post-EU jobs market that provides opportunities for individuals and gives UK businesses the skills and staff they need to compete on a global level.

What has happened to demand for staff since the referendum? The feedback from webinars and meetings indicates that there has been very little knee-jerk reaction with most employers adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach. Recruiters expect some impact on permanent placements in the short-term but are positive about the outlook for temporary and contract hiring. This fits with our latest data from Report on Jobs which received significant media coverage last week and gave us the opportunity to underline the importance of a vibrant temp and contract market in times of uncertainty in the national media. How are we engaging with the new government team? Many of you have told us that retaining membership of the single market would boost business confidence and drive hiring activity. You have also told us that it’s important to get clarity on the status of EU workers already in the UK. Our data shows that even before the referendum, candidate shortages were a major problem for employers in many sectors, from engineering and construction, to healthcare and education. So we will be impressing on the new Ministers in the Whitehall departments that the need to ensure that employers and recruiters can access the people they need has not changed. Immigration policy must continue to reflect ongoing demand for high skilled workers and may require innovative approaches – for example, a new Tier 7 visa for lower skilled workers was mooted at the recent PwC seminar we attended. What does the vote mean for EU regulations? Over the coming months and years, government will be in a position to review EU-based regulations. However, the clear steer from members is that the priority for the new administration should be to re-evaluate domestic employment and tax regulations currently in the pipeline, such as the IR35 review and the apprenticeship levy. We need to create the best possible regulatory landscape, one that facilitates growth and job creation whilst maintaining effective enforcement to protect the interests of compliant businesses. What can you do to help us? The regular input and insight of REC members will help strengthen our work to keep the new government aware of our industry’s needs and concerns so please send your ongoing views and feedback to

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