The end of 2011 saw a revolutionary change in employment legislation in the UK. According to research carried out by REC the Agency Workers Regulations, or AWR, have altered the recruitment marketplace in Britain and are changing the way employers look for new staff.
The AWR essentially mean that temporary staff must have access to the same benefits and been privy to the same treatment as permanent members of staff after a period of 12 weeks spent at the company. This has of course added an additional cost to the price paid for getting in temps and seems to be putting employers off.
Since their introduction in October 2011 the AWR have been the chief contributor to a significant downward trend in the temp market, added to by ongoing financial pressure on companies as well as scrutiny by investors in businesses in the process of hiring temps when permanent members of staff are being axed.
However, this decline in temporary opportunities has been coupled with an exponential rise in the number of permanent vacancies as employers seek to avoid coughing up the same benefits for a temporary member of staff who will leave the company. This is of course fantastic news for ambitious and work-hungry candidates looking to move into a new permanent role.
However in certain areas, particularly London, candidates have been dissuaded from moving by the uncertainty of the economy and job market, meaning that employers are struggling to fill the plethora of permanent vacancies that have recently come online.
Looking to the future, it would seem that the current trend in the decline of temporary work will continue to a level where it is used in urgent situations and where the long terms needs of the business simply do not warrant a permanent member of staff. This will mean a sustained increase on the permanent side. As for those permanent vacancies that are being created by this change in recruitment behaviour, it will more than likely be the case that whilst candidates are a struggle to come by for the next few months, the selection pool will be much wider later this year when potential movers feel a little bit more comfortable popping their heads above the parapet.