What are the latest people issues in the recruitment sector?

Pay and benefit review

Managing pay expectations can be tricky. With pay front and centre of most candidates’ minds, what can companies do to attract and retain good people beyond a competitive base salary? Market-competitive salaries are important, but so is offering some sort of hybrid and or flexible working arrangements. These have become increasingly popular, along with an attractive total reward approach. This could include, for example, a holiday buying scheme, days off for volunteering, and wellbeing programmes. A healthy holiday allowance will always make it easier to get the best talent over the line, especially where there are competing offers.

As the cost of living goes up, polls suggest that a lot of workers are borrowing to pay their bills. This is particularly prevalent in low-paid and insecure jobs, and so offering some sort of financial wellbeing support to workers could become valuable if this trend continues.

All of these measures also help firms towards their ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) commitments, which HR can really help to drive forwards.

New enforcement body protecting rights for workers

While the Employment Bill was missing from the Queen’s Speech 2022, the government has now confirmed that it will be launching a new enforcement body, intended to protect several employment rights for workers.

The body is proposed to cover the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage, domestic regulations relating to employment agencies, and umbrella companies. These last two items will be of particular interest to the recruitment sector, so a discussion with your usual RSM contact will make sure you have all the information you need.

The body will also cover where workers are seen as vulnerable, for example in the temporary labour market, areas where there is the potential for worker exploitation, and holiday pay.

Summertime working and four-day weeks

As the weather heats up in the UK, ‘summer hours’ have become a hot topic for employers. Is your organisation tempted to implement summertime working hours?

Similarly, some companies have already adopted, or are thinking of adopting, the now well-publicised PwC four-day working week (or variations of it).

Critics have called it an aberration, much like they did working from home. Other commentators argue that there’s evidence a four-day week costs companies very little and doesn’t negatively affect employee productivity, yet gets them a lot back in terms of employee engagement.

Managing the impact of travel disruption

Finally, the summer months bring with them other challenges for workers and organisations. As of writing, further train strikes are due across the country and they will bring disruption for those who cannot work from home.

If any of the issues above concern you, please contact your usual RSM contact or Kerri Constable, our HR consultancy expert.

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