REC welcomes Chancellor’s Covid-19 package

When the economic impact of Covid-19 became clear in mid-March, the REC moved quickly along with other business organisations to secure large-scale action from the Treasury to protect jobs.

Within days, the Chancellor announced a £350bn package of support for businesses. This includes a job retention scheme to support staff salaries, the deferral of VAT and other taxes as well as the postponement of the IR35 tax changes, plus grants and interest-free loans to help businesses to overcome cashflow challenges.

In his speech the Chancellor praised the collaboration and “constructive discussions” of business groups.

The package was, according to Neil Carberry, CEO of the REC, “the big action the REC and many other business organisations have been working hard to achieve… cashflow support, VAT deferment and wage payments are the exact radical measures that were needed. The REC has successfully lobbied government to introduce digital right-to-work checks so that members can place key workers in jobs where they are needed quickly. We continue to ask for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to be expanded,” he said.

SSP support is currently offered to employers with fewer than 250 employees. Many recruitment businesses have a small internal team, but often look after hundreds of agency staff, leaving them out of its scope. 

“I’m pleased to say that Government wants to continue this collaboration with us and other sector bodies, so we will go on working together throughout this crisis,” Carberry said. “Recruitment professionals have a pivotal role in helping people to get jobs where they are most needed at this time, such as in healthcare, logistics and the food sector. We will get through this and, when we do, recruitment will be central to the recovery.”

All details are correct at time of printing, but events move fast, so check the REC’s Covid-19 hub.

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