The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) – the representative body for recruitment businesses in the UK – says our first coalition government since the second world war has the right intentions but must take more action on jobs and regulations.

Taking stock of the Coalition Governments first 100 days, REC Chief Executive Kevin Green says:

“The Government has clearly grasped the nettle in terms of public finances – the challenge ahead is to maintain key services despite the squeeze on resources. Much will depend on the capability and goodwill of front-line staff and on the ability of public bodies to develop flexible resourcing models.

“The Government will need to be increasingly pro-active in boosting job creation in the private sector. Recent announcements on simplifying business taxation and cutting red tape have been well-received but there are still question marks over whether the private sector can absorb expected job losses in the public sector. Getting this right is one of the main tests for the Coalition Government.

“The rhetoric about less bureaucracy sounds great but we have yet to see much action. Ensuring that complex new EU regulations on agency work are workable in the UK will be a major test of the Government’s resolve. We are seeking a limited review to ensure this legislation which will be introduced in October next year does not adversely affect the UK’s flexible labour market. We will also push the Department for Business to be brave in its review of all Employment Legislation.

“The reviews announced in relation to pensions reform, the Vetting and Barring scheme and IR35 (self-employed taxation) are all welcome. However, it is the outcomes of these reviews that will really matter which is why the REC will continue to put forward practical solutions that achieve policy aims whilst avoiding unnecessary bureaucracy and other unintended consequences.

“There have been some important and positive outcomes on some issues, including the decision to rule out any further licensing on the recruitment industry and the creation of a level playing field for recruiters in relation to travel and dispensation schemes.

“The fact that the Government has actively sought the views and input of the REC on all the key areas – including meetings with relevant Ministers – is great news for the recruitment industry in the UK.

“The Government’s direction of travel is good. We now want to see more action for recruiters, especially on specific areas of concern, such as the Agency Work Regulations.”