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In your corner: REC campaigns and Policy news

17 June 21 | Sourced by

Euro 2020 kicked off in the last week and the Home Nations have gotten their respective campaigns under way with varying degrees of success so far. And speaking of campaigns – the REC is continuing to work hard, despite the distraction the constant football offers, and there are still plenty of updates for you to be aware of.

Digital Right to Work Checks

The Home Office is due to publish guidance imminently confirming whether or not the use of the covid adjusted checks will be able to continue to 19th July in line with the wider delay to lockdown easing. Home Office civil servants have recommended that the return to physical checks be delayed, but this is subject to ministerial approval, and could not be guaranteed at the time of writing. This guidance is due to be published in the next 24 hours.

The REC is campaigning for digital checks to remain in place, and for a permanent digital checking system to be introduced. We have written to Baroness Williams, Minister of State for Digital Technology at the Home Office to set out our thoughts on this. The REC will also be actively participating in the Home Office’s ongoing review of the use of digital technology to push for permanent digital RTW.

Right to Work Checks for EU Citizens

The end date to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme is fast approaching. EU, EEA and Swiss nationals that were in the UK by 31 December 2020 have less than two weeks to apply. The scheme closes on 30 June 2021. Please remind your employees and candidates to apply if they have not already.

New guidance on Right to Work (RTW) checks from 1 July 2021 have now been published and this means you will no longer be able to accept EU passports or ID cards as valid proof of right-to-work, except for Irish citizens. The Government has confirmed that retrospective checks won’t be necessary for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens employed before 1 July 2021. You can find more information in our legal update here.

The Home Office joined REC's last talking recruitment webinar to present on topics such as the new immigration system, the EU Settlement Scheme and RTW checks. If you missed that, you can watch the recording here.

The Home Office is hosting a number of sessions covering the differences between Settled and Pre-Settled status, late applications, right to work checks, support for EU nationals and Q&A. You can find the links to register for one of the sessions here.

Diversity and Inclusion Audit

Last week the REC published our joint survey with APSCo regarding the current demographics of staff within the recruitment industry. This survey polled both corporate and individual representatives across the recruitment sector to determine what and how much data businesses record in relation to the demographic make-up of their staff. Between us we had just over 100 corporates and 300+ individual recruiters reply. The full survey can be viewed on the REC website.

Vaccines for Care Home Staff

On 16 June, the Department for Health & Social Care has announced that vaccines will become mandatory for some 1.5m care home staff in England. Subject to parliamentary approval, the new legislation will commence in October 2021 and anyone working in a CQC-registered care home nursing the vulnerable and the elderly will have to have two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, unless they have a medical exemption. The staff will have 16 weeks to get the vaccine from October, otherwise could face losing their jobs or take up on non-frontline positions. This requirement will apply to all workers employed directly by the care home or care home provider (on a full-time or part-time basis) as well as those employed by an agency and deployed by the care home, and volunteers deployed in the care home. The list will also include those coming into care homes to do non-medical work such as healthcare workers, tradespeople, hairdressers and beauticians as well as CQC inspectors.

This rule applies to England only while the Scottish Parliament has indicated that there is no plan for compulsory vaccination for care home workers in Scotland.

Education Sector Webinar

For agencies in the Education sector, our next webinar will be on the 22nd June. This will feature an update from the Department for Education, and more information on the new framework from CCS. You can sign up to attend the webinar here.

Research Corner

The latest KPMG and REC UK Report on Jobs shows an increased in hiring activity in May, as economy reopens. Data signified that permanent staff appointments and temporary billings rose at a historic pace. The survey also highlighted a rise in demand, with the latest upturn the most marked since January 1998. At the same time, we have seen a further deterioration of the overall candidate availability. The lower staff supply, and the rising demand led to a further increasing in both starting salaries and temp pay expanding at the sharpest rate since April.

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