According to a new report compiled by the APSCo, employers are very much relying on contractors to fill resourcing needs.
The data, provided by Bullhorn, revealed a 13% increase in contract vacancies between April 2021 and April 2022 following a 24% year-on-year spike in March.
Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo, commented, “While the holiday period certainly had an impact on recruitment activity, what is particularly interesting is the continued demand we’re seeing for highly skilled contract professionals as the talent shortages remains a challenge for UK employers.”
Other findings show that contract revenue for staffing firms increased 4% in the final weeks of the month when compared to the beginning of April, despite placement numbers dropping -1%, suggesting that employers are having to invest more to attract these highly skilled flexible workers.
Tania Bowers, Global Public Policy Director at APSCo, believes that this reliance on the flexible workforce could be at risk due to the continued lack of clarity around the Employment Bill.
She said: “The UK’s employment market is not fit for purpose in the current economic landscape and APSCo has warned that the long-awaited Employment Bill needs to be pushed forward swiftly if the country is to recover from the impact of the pandemic and Brexit. It’s clear that the future of the labour market needs to be flexible, dynamic and fair, but current legislation is not designed to support this.
“The self-employed have a crucial role to play in the skills short environment that we are experiencing and in order to ensure these individuals are adequately supported and able to operate in a flexible manner without being penalised, is important. We’re already seeing Off Payroll case law impacting this segment of the market and the UK is at risk of diminishing its own flexible workforce if action isn’t taken.
“Self-employed status needs to be defined in legislation that differentiates highly skilled self-employed independent professionals from dependent contractors, workers, other variants of self-employment and the lower skilled, less independent elements of the gig economy.”
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