Connecting to LinkedIn...


Recruitment Leaders debate compliance issues and umbrella providers

Recruitment Leaders debate compliance issues and umbrella providers

Compliance issues and concerns about umbrella providers were two of the key issues discussed at Recruitment Leaders - the debating forum set up by Brabners, Outsauce, Saffery Champness and RBS.

David Camp, Director of the Association of Labour Providers (ALP) delivered an engaging review of the challenges and emerging trends in supplying labour to the food and agricultural sectors. He spoke about supply chain issues within the sector, with continuing margin pressure due to unsustainable charge rate expectations, increased use of rebates and additional service demands leading to pressure for businesses to cut corners and being forced to consider using tax relief models.

Camp said that the new Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) CEO, Paul Broadbent, has produced a three year strategic plan for the regulator, which correctly focuses on protecting vulnerable workers. Although still in the early days of the new GLA leadership, Camp said there is already more engagement with the supply chain, a more strategic use of the media and a heightened level of compliance activity. It was agreed by all present that now is a good time for recruitment agency bodies to come together to discuss appropriate regulation for the wider industry.

In many cases labour providers in the food and agricultural sectors deliver excellent practice, though Camp commented wryly that he has long since expected to see positive media stories to this effect. In fact compliance is viewed as a key sales feature by those within the sector and an opportunity to demonstrate to clients that their brand and reputation will not be put at risk.

Camp highlighted a multi-stakeholder project entitled “Stronger Together” to equip employers and labour providers with the tools to deter and investigate hidden labour abuse. With 21 million workers in forced labour across the globe and the UK figure for human trafficking up by 67% in the last two years this is an area where support for businesses is urgently needed.

Looking to the future, Camp said labour providers would need to align their services to increasing client expectations and demonstrate their sectoral and functional expertise. This meant becoming deliverers of best practice, adopting a “worker-centred” approach, developing lean techniques whilst offering new and added value services to drive margin growth.

Key challenges being faced by the recruitment sector were also on the agenda for the meeting held in Manchester, with Simon Garbett, Chairman of TEAM, reporting on the issues affecting the members of TEAM, namely the economy, legislation, RPOs and umbrella providers. Garbett spoke about members questioning compliant umbrella providers post Legitas and recognising that the umbrella & lsquo;model’ is relatively unregulated which is raising concerns about the financial and reputational consequences for recruitment agencies associated with them. The issue prompted a lively debate on umbrella providers with similar concerns being echoed by those in attendance.

Garbett made the point that the economy is never going to go back to normal now is the new normal. He spoke about the need for agencies to adapt and change their business strategies to encourage growth rather than blame the economic downturn. He said the market develops and changes continually and whilst the past five years have been a particularly difficult time there are a number of successful agencies that have concentrated on their strengths, cut costs, looked to new markets and become stronger businesses as a result.

Garbett ended with the view that there is fresh optimism within the recruitment industry and TEAM members are going back to basics by engaging more with their clients and embracing technology and social media to build relationships and attract talent.

Recruitment Leaders is a free forum for established agencies and service providers to meet on a regular basis and discuss key sector issues. Following a North West launch, the partners hope to roll the initiative out to multiple regions across the UK.


Articles similar to

Articles similar to