New normal priorities

Sophie Wingfield, Head of Policy at the REC, outlines the top post-crisis challenges 

It takes a while for a new government to get into the mindset of governing, and for the opposition to get hang of campaigning. In the policy world we are experiencing something similar. Covid-19 changed the policy landscape and the issues we thought we would be debating now have changed. Some themes remain, but we’ll be looking at the policy landscape through a different lens:

  • Tax. The government will be looking at tax to recoup the costs of coronavirus support. IR35, affecting how we tax contractors, hasn’t gone away. Ensuring the new tax landscape is fair is an important challenge.
  • Regulation and enforcement. We want the government to prioritise the regulation of umbrella companies, and to take a sensible approach to enforcement generally – particularly given the number of policies rolled out fast during the crisis.
  • Employment schemes. Ensuring that employment schemes to deal with job losses work with our industry to kickstart the economy is a top priority.
  • Skills and future of jobs. Covid-19 has accelerated changes already happening. It’s great that the Department for Education has launched an online portal for skills training. The recruitment industry has an important role influencing these changes.
  • Immigration. The government has promised a new system in January 2021. We’ll be calling for a delay, so the new system can take into account the impact of Covid-19 on the economy.  

The recruitment industry is ideally placed to help kickstart the economy. We’ll make sure the government works with us, so businesses can reopen and people get back into work.

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