Hays chief executive, Alistair Cox, has been speaking about the fears facing umbrella contractors currently working in the public sector. He has acknowledged that the majority of these contractors are worried about losing work due to cuts in funding and jobs across the sector.
While the government is looking to the private sector to provide the job opportunities for those on whom the axe will fall, it is unlikely the private sector will actually be able to meet the demand of the 750,000 public sector workers who are expected to lose their jobs.
Mr Cox has actually suggested that the government should consider the abolition of employers’ NICs in a bid to boost economic growth within the public sector. Such economic growth should, in turn, boost employment opportunities. Cox believes that these measures would be the next logical step from the relief that has already been given to small businesses by the coalition government. At present, small business start-ups can take advantage of a 12 month NIC holiday for the first 10 people they employ. However, it is rather unlikely that the government would look to increase this benefit in the name of boosting the private sector’s finances since it would have a detrimental effect on the public purse which cannot afford to be hit any harder.
On a positive note, recruitment opportunities have been increasing although it would seem that the job opportunities are becoming available through individuals moving jobs rather than new jobs being created.