In the second part of its combined tax debate and seminar event held on 23rd September, Lawspeed welcomed a senior civil servant from the department of Business, Innovation and Skills to talk about BIS’ stance on government regulation and standards.
“We felt that our attendees would want to have some insight into the direction the department of BIS is taking following a lengthy morning discussion on recent tax proposals. Attendees felt that HMRC is taking the recruitment sector down a path which is likely to damage the recruitment industry”, explains Adrian Marlowe, director of the seminar host, Lawspeed.
Speaking at length, the spokesperson confirmed that the Minister, Nick Boles, values contributions made by the recruitment industry, is very passionate about the flexible workforce and a believer in reducing regulation. With a de-regulatory package on the agenda, potentially for October, the spokesperson explained what could change and what will remain. Top of the list is removing R.7 of the Conduct Regulations relating to striking workers, and a ban on recruiting from overseas without advertising locally, being a further attempt to close a loophole in the law already introduced earlier this year in that area.
BIS is strengthening enforcement, one measure to introduce a labour market enforcement director to cover the GLA, agency regulations enforcement and worker payments including the National Minimum Wage. The focus going forwards is to be on ‘sinister’ as opposed to ‘clueless’ non-compliance, against the background that most non-compliance is without malice. Additional resources are being recruited to target non-compliance.
The BIS representative also commented “business to business disputes are not a good use of BIS inspectorate time. Alongside deregulation, compliance and independent standards accreditation is key as it incorporates good business practice. Towards that end our department welcomes any initiative, whether via a trade association or any other organisation, that helps to improve standards in recruitment.”
This comment was welcomed by the accreditation organisation Standards in Recruitment (SiR), one of the event sponsors. Steve Buxton, a director of SiR, said “BIS comments are very pertinent. In fact BIS was consulted from the outset of the development of our standards arrangement, which we believe is in tune with government thinking. SiR was launched in January this year.”
Overall the address was helpful and informative, giving invaluable insight into the direction government is taking. Marlowe concluded “What is clear is that BIS supports the recruitment industry and is keen to retain the advantage that the industry brings. We look forward to seeing the new package of deregulatory measures.”