Calls for Liz Truss to focus on the employment and skills agenda

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APSCo: ‘With the new Prime Minister now in place, we believe it is crucial that the employment and skills agenda is moved back up the list of priorities’.

With the announcement that Liz Truss is the UK’s new Prime Minister, representative groups are highlighting the key priorities that should be at the top of her agenda.

The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) believes that Truss needs to focus on supporting the UK’s economy to balance the impact of the pandemic, Brexit and the roll out of Off-Payroll.

The APSCo is suggesting:

  • An Employment Bill to ‘help bring regulation of the recruitment market and umbrella companies in line with 21st century needs’.
  • Creating a truly Global Britain by focussing on skills, the workforce and the mutual recognition of services and the professional qualifications, as well as tariffs and goods. And, the process by which self-employed contractors obtain visas should be simplified.
  • Tackle skills shortages.

Tania Bowers, Global Public Policy Director at APSCo, commented, “The country has experienced change on a huge scale in the last few years as a combination of Brexit, IR35 and the pandemic changed the world of work as we knew it, with the impact of continued global economic uncertainty and rising inflation adding to this difficult climate.

“With the new Prime Minister now in place, we believe it is crucial that the employment and skills agenda is moved back up the list of priorities. The UK economy is facing a wealth of struggles from the cost-of-living crisis to concerning skills shortages and staff strikes across a range of sectors. A huge number of these challenges can be alleviated to some extent by a stronger and more dynamic labour market – an ideal that APSCo and its members are well-placed to help achieve.”

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The IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) is also reminding the new PM of her pledge to launch a review into IR35.

Andy Chamberlain, Director of Policy at IPSE, said, “IPSE looks forward to working with the new Prime Minister and her cabinet. The country faces a number of problems, and we hope that she outlines her plans to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, as well as the many issues facing thousands of freelancers and small businesses such as IR35, employment status, and Managed Service Company legislation.

“We also look forward to working with Truss on the promised review of the dreaded off-payroll working rules: IR35. These rules are destroying businesses and holding back the economy – and they need to change now.

“During the leadership race Truss talked about ‘tackling orthodox Treasury thinking’. If this review is to deliver meaningful change – which previous reviews haven’t – she will need to do exactly that: challenge the thinking that has led to this wretched legislation being enacted. If she makes real progress on this issue, she will achieve something that the previous three Conservative Prime Ministers couldn’t, enabling one of the most dynamic and innovative parts of the UK economy to thrive.”

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