Empowering the Freelance Economy

What recruiters want Truss to do next

"It is crucial that the employment and skills agenda is moved back up the list of priorities," says Tania Bowers of APSCo.
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Liz Truss has won the Conservative leadership race and the top job as Prime Minister, so what do recruiters want from the new PM and is it in the interests of British freelancers?

The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) says there are three crucial policy areas that Truss needs to focus on to support the UK’s economy to balance the impact of the pandemic, Brexit and the rollout of Off-Payroll.

Here’s what they had to say…

Introduce the Employment Bill

Alongside Truss’s plans to review off-payroll legislation, the introduction of the Employment Bill is urgently needed to help bring regulation of the recruitment market and umbrella companies in line with 21st-century needs. This includes greater support for self-employed and independent contractors as well as clear definitions of the flexible workforce to prevent disguised remuneration.

Create a truly Global Britain

As the Government negotiates global trade deals, APSCo has recommended that these discussions focus on skills, the workforce and the mutual recognition of services and professional qualifications as well as tariffs and goods. The simplification of the process by which self-employed contractors obtain visas is also needed in a skill-short economy.

Tackle Skills Shortages

APSCo’s research shows vacancy levels across all sectors are currently exceeding 2019 levels, suggesting jobs are remaining unfilled. Flexible and pragmatic training courses that are accessible to people across the entire workforce and a reform of the Apprenticeship Levy are a few of the steps APSCo has identified as necessary. The trade association has also called for the development of a national strategy, recognising urban hubs and regions with existing strengths in particular skills and industries.

Tania Bowers, Global Public Policy Director at APSCo said the Tory leadership challenge “only exacerbated” the country’s issues.

“With the new Prime Minister now in place, we believe it is crucial that the employment and skills agenda is moved back up the list of priorities,” says Bowers.

Bowers says she and her team have welcomed the reports that Ms Truss intends to review IR35 legislation – a move Bowers says is needed in light of challenges to the temporary recruitment market – but “this needs to be supplemented with more definitive actions to create a future-fit dynamic labour market.”

“At APSCo Global we want to work with policymakers to ensure we have a truly sustainable, global and flexible workforce fit for the future. We are calling on the Government to introduce an Employment Bill which will better reflect modern-day working post-pandemic than current legislation, more suitable high-skilled visas that can allow the UK labour market to remain agile and alive to specific sector labour shortages,” says Bowers.

She adds, “Flexible and pragmatic training initiatives designed to maximise businesses’ access to talent across the workforce is also essential. In acting on these policy items, the UK will continue to be a world leader in new and existing markets.”

🤔Are you on board with these calls to action and are they all in the best interests of UK freelancers and agency contractors?

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