Speaking ahead of chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement this afternoon, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s (REC) chief executive Kevin Green said:
“The chancellor has to do more to get Britain working – by helping young jobseekers, the long-term unemployed and by doing all he can to support the vital flexibility of the UK labour market.
“We want to see practical measures to tackle youth unemployment like a NICs holiday for SMEs taking on additional young people. The government should also harness the expertise of recruiters as a cost-effective means of delivering careers guidance for young people.
“In addressing tax avoidance the chancellor needs fund and empower HMRC to take more robust action against abuses of travel and subsistence schemes to ensure there is a fair and level playing field for recruitment agencies that play by the rules.
“The flexible nature of the UK labour market has been a key factor in keeping unemployment levels here lower than in other countries. The government needs to nurture greater flexibility, not stifle it. Any changes to the benefit system must make temporary work easier for people to take on without fear of losing benefits and proposed restrictions on the use of interim managers and senior freelancers in the public sector should be scrapped.”