Reacting to this afternoon’s Budget statement, REC chief executive Neil Carberry says:
“Businesses across the country will welcome the generally pro-enterprise tone taken by the Chancellor this afternoon. Today’s cut in small business rates, the delay IR35 taxation changes for private sector contractors and further changes in how the Apprenticeship Levy works are all positive steps.
“The REC asked the Chancellor not to implement changes in taxation for private sector contractors in 2019. We’re glad he listened. This is a big win for businesses, allowing industry to maintain access to skills and expertise at short notice. But today’s delay must now be used as an opportunity to get any future reform right, not just a delay.
‘Recruitment professionals have said the implementation of IR35 in the public sector have not gone as planned – and has fuelled tax avoidance by the unscrupulous, so now is a good time to pause for thought.”
On proposed changes to the Apprenticeship Levy, Carberry says:
“The recognition that the Apprenticeship Levy must be more flexible and work better for employers is good news. Reducing the contribution levels for SMEs will help, but it’s disappointing that we still lack the flexibility needed to ensure training is available for temporary staff. All workers should have opportunities to progress, irrespective of what type of contract they are on. We want to work with government to ensure that the levy works better for employers and for all workers who want to upskill”.
On plans to drive wage growth for those on the lowest pay, and a renewed remit for the Low Pay Commission beyond 2020, REC Director of Policy Tom Hadley says:
“We welcome the fact that the government has accepted the Low Pay’s Commission recommendations for the new National Living Wage and National Minimum wage rates and announced its consultation on a continued remit beyond 2020. It is crucial that NMW rates continue to be based on evidence and not politics, as that is in the interest of workers and businesses alike.
‘’We will continue to use the REC’s monthly jobs data and the practical insight of recruitment professionals to feed into this evidence’’.