The appointment of a new employment minister might be a new opportunity to dispense with the miles of excess red tape impeding the recruitment industry (and the UK economy more generally), the Recruitment and Employment Confederation seems to believe.

Ed Davey has vacated the post to embrace the role of Energy and Climate Change Secretary in the wake of Chris Huhne’s decision to step down. In a little reported substitution, Norman Lamb has stepped into the shoes of Employment Minister – a role that comes with a Coalition promise to cut down on red tape.

The REC has long argued that the UK’s flexible workforce, which includes highly skilled contractors working through umbrella companies and limited companies, suffers from the over-regulated landscape which needlessly hampers the efficiency of recruiters. As many PAYE umbrella contractors will be aware, recruiters groaning under the weight of excessive regulation make the business of securing new contracts slower and more laborious.

REC Director of Policy Tom Hadley said that he would be meeting with the new minister shortly and emphasising the positive role of recruiters in the UK economy as well as highlighting the need for the right regulatory landscape and compliance framework. Both are vital if the sector and the contractors it sources work for are to prosper.

Mr Hadley added that the government’s Red Tape Challenge constituted an “excellent opportunity” to convey the recruitment industry’s views. He also expressed the hope that the Department for Business will throw its weight behind the sector, especially in the areas of employment policy, pensions reform and taxation.

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