Availability of Temporary Staff Reaches Record High

The availability of workers in the UK throughout June rose at the quickest rate since the depths of economic recession in January 2009 due to redundancies and workers on furlough.

The latest KPMG and REC UK Report on Jobs found there were increases for both permanent and temporary staff numbers, with the latter rising at the quickest rate in the survey’s 23-year history. 

Starting pay for both permanent and short-term staff fell in June as demand for workers remained weak and the labour supply continued to increase. 

Rates of pay reductions were not as severe as May, yet there were still decreases for both starting salaries and temp wages. 

Employee earnings including bonuses rose by just 1% year-on-year in the three months leading up to April, according to the Office for National Statistics.

This was weaker than the 2.3% rate of growth for the previous three-month period and marked the slowest rise in pay since the three months to September 2014.

Permanent staff appointments fell across England, with the steepest reduction seen in London. 

Neil Carberry, chief executive of the REC, said the figures demonstrated a jobs crisis across the country.

He said: “While there are signs that the worst declines are behind us, today’s figures show that it will be a while yet before we see job placements growing month on month. That’s no surprise, as businesses are focusing on bringing furloughed staff back to work, or making redundancies where they cannot be avoided. 

“Recruiters will be key to helping those who lose their roles find new work – there are always vacancies out there for jobseekers, though they are at a lower level than normal right now.” 

The private sector saw a larger decline in permanent vacancies compared to the public sector, yet the demand for short-term workers fell at a quicker pace in the public sector. 

Given hospitality has been one of the sectors worst hit by the impact of coronavirus, the steepest drops in vacancies were seen in hotels, catering and retail. 

There was also a decrease in nursing, medical and care roles. 

The UK Report on Jobs is compiled by IHS Markit from responses to questionnaires sent to a panel of around 400 UK recruitment and employment consultancies.

Freedom of Choice to Prevail in post-COVID-19 Work Styles
June 25, 2020

Employees will want more freedom in where they choose to work following the coronavirus pandemic.

Researchers at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) found since the introduction of mandatory remote working, many employees had the chance to exercise more, spend time with family and time to think and reflect.

Almost two thirds (62%) of people said they wanted to work from home more on a regular basis. 

Some respondents discussed wanting to spend the majority of their time at home, or have an equal split between home and office. 

Of those who said they wanted to work from home more often generally, more than a quarter (27%) of them wanted to do so more than one day per week. 

Gemma Dale, lecturer at LJMU and report author, said HR now risked employees leaving if it did not offer more flexible working choices.

Speaking to HR magazine, she said: “There is a potential risk that where this demand to work from home isn’t met and requests are turned down, employees may choose to seek an employer that will allow them more flexibility in their working lives. 

“An economic recession may lead to a depressed job market – so these implications may take some time to be felt, unlike morale and employee engagement which could take an immediate hit.”

Yet Dale said a lack of flexibility in some organisations can create opportunities in others.

She added: “I do however think there is an opportunity for those organisations that do need to recruit now – if they can allow some homeworking on an ongoing basis it can be a talent acquisition opportunity, especially where employees feel that their current employer won’t be supportive.” 

The research recommended that more employers should consider home working to support employee wellbeing, reduce the carbon footprint of commuting, attract and retain talented employees, support the reduction of the gender pay gap and improve productivity. 

The research authors therefore said that where workplaces should help employees set up effective workspaces. 

Many employees noted a lack of hardware such as printers and monitors while working from home, plus using unsuitable desks and chairs given many are sharing spaces with family and using home spaces such as kitchen. 

The study has led to a series of recommendations for HR to prepare for the increase in demand for homeworking.

These included taking feedback from employees about challenges and benefits, determining an overall approach for homeworking and reviewing flexible working and homeworking policies. 

The survey also pointed to practical challenges of the pandemic such as technology, appropriate work spaces, childcare, home-schooling and stress and anxiety. 

Dale added: “We didn’t see a significant amount of people saying they were working longer hours, although there were challenges around establishing boundaries between work and home. This did not however seem to have dissuaded them from doing more homeworking.” 

Yet despite these challenges, many respondents had experienced more flexibility and freedom and wanted to retain it, the report’s authors said. 

The survey ran for three weeks in May and early June and had over 500 responses, generating 3,000 qualitative responses. 

Reinventing Yourself After Retirement
June 9, 2020

The following article will be of interest to your clients who are either planning their retirement or looking for information, advice and guidance on a second or even third career.

If you are working after retirement, you are part of a rising trend in unprecedented times, says gerontologist Suzanne Cook. “We’re in a huge societal shift that’s occurring,” says Cook, who holds a Ph.D. in adult education and community development from the University of Toronto and is an adjunct professor in the department of sociology at Toronto’s York University.

“When the retirement age was set at 65, it was a different time and reality,” says Cook, a member of the York University Centre for Aging Research and Education. “I think as people realize that life expectancy has increased, they are going to be thinking, I don’t want the retirement of my parents.”

Cook cites Statistics Canada data that show the percentage of seniors who were working nearly doubled between 1995 and 2015. The federal agency reports that 20% of Canadians aged 65 and older worked at some point in 2015. “You can see the upswing in employment,” says Cook, “and I predict that it’s continuing to increase.” Read more

AI, Automation and Future of Work Tickets, Thu 28 May 2020 at 17:00 | Eventbrite
May 27, 2020

MKAI Expert Forum | AI, Automation & Future of Work | UiPath, Dime, Women Leading in AI Network, Henley Business School, Zicar Consulting

About this Free Event

AI, Automation and The Future of Work

Click Here To Register


5:00pm: 🎙️Welcome and Announcements

5:10pm: 💻 Speaker from Industry 1 – Ivana Bartoletti, Technical Director & Co-Founder, Women Leading in AI Network

Presentation: This is a watershed moment for jobs

Ivana is a Technical Director helping businesses with their privacy by design programmes and with their privacy and ethical challenges related to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and blockchain technology.

Ivana was awarded ‘Woman of the Year’ (2019) in the Cyber Security Awards in recognition of her growing reputation as an advocate of equality, privacy and ethics at the heart of tech and AI. She is the author of An Artificial Revolution: On Power, Politics and AI now available on Amazon here

5:30pm:💻 Speaker from Industry 2 – Arif Khan, AI Ninja at UiPath

Presentation: The Role of AI in Automation Strategy

Abstract: A look at how combining Artificial Intelligence with more traditional automation technologies can unlock greater business values

Arif has a passion for combing the Agile delivery model with RPA and AI to solve real business problems effectively and quickly. Arif is a member of the Institute for Robotic Process Automation & AI. Arif has an MSci in Computer Science from University College London, specialising in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

5:50pm:💻 Speaker from Industry 3 – Dr. Khaleelah Jones, Founder of Careful Feet Digital Agency

Presentation: Using AI for Social Media Content Creation (Text and Visual Assets)

Khaleelah Jones is the owner and founder of Careful Feet Digital Agency, the digital marketing agency that created Dime Digital, a SaaS tool that automates social media posting and brand creation for small businesses and solopreneurs. The winner of the 2018 Next Women Pitch Competition, Khaleelah has a PhD in emerging media, an MBA and has worked in the marketing industry for over a decade.

Before starting CFD and building Dime, she was the head of marketing at WellTok Inc, where she was part of a team that doubled the user base in six months and closed $18m in Series B funding. She now lives in London with her husband and loves yoga, reading and Russian history.

6:10pm:💻 Speaker from Industry 4 – Dr. Naeema Pasha, Director of Careers, Henley Business School

Presentation: Humans, AI and the Bigger Productivity Pie

Naeema leads teams to deliver great personal & professional development and research on future of work. At Henley Business School she runs a fantastically innovative team where they’ve gone from start-up to scale-up. They are about providing a creative & challenging place for people (all from diverse backgrounds) to enable them to design a career path that not only defines who they are, but is in the context of an uncertain world of work.

6:30pm: Panel discussion with all speakers

6:55pm 🔮 Roundup + What’s next with MKAI

7:00pm Close

Bonus Track Technial Speaker:

5:30-6:10pm: Azim Zicar, RPA Consultant – Zicar Consultancy Ltd

Presentation: Building a bot Live

In this activity you will have the chance to experience first hand what Robotic Process Automation is and how a software robot is actually built. This is a non scripted group interactive session where a robot is built from scratch based on the audience’s ideas!

Azim is an RPA expert with experience in creating, building and maintaining the robotic workforce. Since finding RPA in 2016, he has been passionate about using software robots to add value to businesses. He is a certified Blue Prism Professional Developer and has worked as a Lead Developer in many RPA projects spanning multiple industries. You can find out more about Azim via his LinkedIn page and his business: Zicar Consultancy

MKAI May is supported by:

Zicar Consultancy – RPA consultancy at a comptetitive rates.

Ether Solutions – Specialists for Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Document Management and Document Scanning.

EvolveAI – Proven leaders in the provision of innovative human capital management solutions to businesses looking to attract and retain in-demand digital technology talent.

IR35 to be Delayed for a Year
March 19, 2020

IR35 implementation in the private sector will be delayed for a year given the current Coronavirus pandemic, it was confirmed (17 March).

Chief secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay said that this is a deferral, not a cancellation, and that the government is still committed to introducing the policy.

The new tax measures, planned to make organisations responsible for determining whether a contractor carrying out work for them should be treated as an employee for tax purposes, will now come into effect on 6 April 2021.

James Poyser, CEO of inniAccounts and founder of offpayroll.org.uk, said in a statement: “The Lords made it pretty clear… that the Treasury’s IR35 position was increasingly untenable, with the rising backdrop of Coronavirus.”

Poyser welcomes the pause and said it will mean that contractors can now switch gears and put all of their energy into the wider challenges the UK is going to be facing in the coming months.

“This [delay] will also give time for the Lords review to be published, and we hope that the Treasury and HMRC listen to their recommendations before attempting to re-table this legislation for April 2021,” added Poyser.

The House of Lords Economic Affairs Finance Bill Sub-Committee, led by Conservative peer Michael Forsyth, held an inquiry into the possible effects of implementing IR35 in the private sector in February. The Treasury also ran its own review at the same time to ensure implementation will run smoothly.

Forsyth asked the Treasury and HM Revenue & Customs in a Budget meeting on 16 March whether they had considered deferring the changes, which were timetabled for next month.

He said: “I wondered whether HMRC had considered, given the enormous financial impact that we are about to experience as a result of Coronavirus, whether it might not be sensible for you to defer introducing these changes at least for six months if not a year.

“What is being proposed in the Budget I think is generally acknowledged to be inadequate in terms of the scale of the crisis and it does seem rather perverse to add an additional burden of this kind on business which could easily be deferred for six or 12 months,” Forsyth added. 

Matthew Sharp, a senior associate in Fieldfisher’s dispute resolution group specialising in contentious tax matters, said: “The Treasury’s decision to delay IR35 reforms by a year shows that the government has listened to the concerns of businesses, which were already deeply worried about the new rules even before the Coronavirus outbreak.

“While the move is welcome it will come as little comfort to workers whose contractor relationships have already been terminated by companies too daunted by the changes to assess and adjust their contractor relationships.”Sharp also suggested that once the Coronavirus subsides the government should use the 12-month extension to significantly improve the quality of its communication on IR35 and address concerns with the efficacy of HMRC’s online tax assessment tool, which he said had proved to be unfit for purpose.

Why Remote Work Isn’t Going Away Anytime Soon
January 7, 2020


A narrative has taken hold over the past few years that asserts that the future of work will be dominated by robots, AI programs, and other technological marvels that strip humans entirely away from the workplace. 

Despite all the hubbub being raised over certain new technologies, however, the future of work is increasingly going to be dominated by remote working, which is quickly taking hold around the globe thanks to the productive results it delivers to business owners.

Here’s why the future of work is remote, and why so many companies around the world are rushing to let their employees work from wherever works best for them.


The biggest driver of the pivot to a remote workforce that’s currently underway in our market is that remote employees simply produce better results than their traditional counterparts. While many critics of remote working used to assert that letting employees work from home would drain them of their productive spirit, the past few years have produced conclusive evidence that employees who spend a bulk of their working hours outside of the office are vastly happier and more productive.

Recent research from Gallup, for instance, notes that those workers who spend about three to four days of the week working offsite are substantially more engaged in their jobs than traditional counterparts who are stuck behind desks all day. The logic behind this productivity boost is actually quite easy to understand; by giving workers more control over their personal lives and permitting them to schedule their work-life balance accordingly, companies are making them happier and more fulfilled as they enable Average Joes to become workplace superstars.


As Jacob Morgan recently posited in his book The Future Of Work, the IoT is driving companies everywhere to produce products and services which cater directly to consumers while they’re still enjoying the comforts of the home. Smart thermostats, AI home assistants, and interconnected electric systems have made the modern household a “smart home,” which is why it’s so easy for most workers to plug directly into their workspace while they’re sitting in their kitchens.

Morgan accurately noted that companies everywhere simply have an easier time of finding talent that’s willing to work from home right now than ever before; the big data revolution and the rise of the ubiquitous IoT effectively created the gig economy we’re all so familiar with these days. Now, if a small business or a major corporation needs to rely on a select expert, they turn to the web and start searching for an independent freelancer who can get them the information they need at an affordable price.


Thanks to the fact that more and more people are working remotely, consumers everywhere can say hello to a new era of convenience. With freelance workers and remote employees able to more precisely adjust their scheduling, customers will be able to find an expert on demand at any time of the day. While most businesses close their doors at 5 pm or shortly thereafter, the remote workforce is effectively always available. There will be some challenges to this, naturally; work-related stress may go upward, for instance, and employees who are working from home will need strict discipline to master work-life balance as the lines between the home and office get blurry.

Nonetheless, the benefits of the remote workforce mean that in the near future, we’ll likely see more leaders in a wide variety of industries embracing the concept, especially as automating technologies and cheaper software makes it easier for employees to accomplish great things from far away. Before remote working is universally accepted, however, business owners and everyday workers will need to come together to forge a new work style that accommodates the needs of a distributed workforce.


Organizations looking to implement a remote work policy for their company should start with a few basic steps. First and foremost, make sure your workers are equipped with the three things they need to succeed: adequate technology, disciplinary excellence and clear instructions.

Make sure your workers have a laptop, tablet or desktop that can help them tackle their tasks, and consider investing in a company-wide software sponsorship program that lets them install important software directly to their personal devices so that they can use them for business, too.

Next, it’s imperative that you stress disciplinary excellence; workers at home don’t have a manager peering over their shoulder, so they have to act as their own boss and maintain a strict schedule to get things done. Don’t try to dictate every aspect of their lives–remote work is effective because it offers workers flexibility, after all. Nonetheless, be sure that you’re requesting regular status updates, and that you have a system in place to measure productivity.

Finally, never let your workers wander alone–make sure they have clear instructions and achievable milestones that guide them as they work from the comfort of their home. This is perhaps the most important step for you, as it’s where you’ll be demonstrating your leadership by giving concise, yet clear, instructions that can be carried out even if you’re not present to immediately answer questions.

Do this while placing faith in your remote workers, and your business will soon be a thriving, cutting-edge organization.

This article originally appeared on Glassdoor 

The Jobs of 2027
April 30, 2018

The following (rather long) article was written by Gary Tippet of University of Melbourn. In it he explores the changes likely to be needed to the skillsets of Austrialian’s employees. Changes which will also impact on employees in the UK and across the rest of the world.

In 10 years jobs we’re familiar with now will change as new technologies impact on how we work. Professionals like nurses, architects, artists and farmers will all need new skillsets to keep up with the technological revolution

Over the next decade, the way we do our jobs will change dramatically. The impact of new and emerging technologies, shifting economics, even environmental pressures mean most professions are in a continual state of change – with many struggling to keep up with the pace of transformation.

And for many people working across most industries – and those in the future – they must be ready and willing to keep themselves up-to-date with the latest information and training in a fast-changing environment.

For example, genome sequencing and precision therapies are on the way to making cancer a manageable condition rather than a lethal one. But it also means today’s practicing nurses will need to become quickly competent in tomorrow’s advances.

Below five professionals are highlighted across five industries describing how their jobs are changing and what the next generation needs to do to prepare, adapt and thrive.


One third of our planet’s land is used for agriculture. It’s a lot, but bear in mind that 50 per cent of Earth’s landmass – desert, tundra, mountains and glaciers – is unusable. And our need for what agriculture provides doesn’t stop with land.

Read more