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Round-up of the week

Posted on 1st July 2016

Business engagement key following EU referendum

In the wake of last week's decision by the UK public to vote to leave the EU, a significant sense of uncertainty has descended on many industries across the nation.

As a response to this dilemma, business secretary Sajid Javid has announced the creation of a new business engagement inter-ministerial group, which will aim to ensure the concerns, views and issues of businesses across all sectors are represented in Westminster in the coming years.

The group will feed into the creation of the new EU Referendum Unit that has been established within the Cabinet Office.

Outlining his intentions behind the creation of this new group, Mr Javid stated: "Now more than ever, businesses need certainty so it is vital that the government maintains an open and continuous dialogue.

"We must work together to make sure the world knows that the UK is still open for business and remains an attractive place with which to trade and invest."

UK labour costs/hour rose in Q1

New data published by the Office for National Statistics has highlighted an increase in UK labour costs/hour during the first quarter of 2016.

According to the latest Index of Labour Costs per Hour bulletin update, seasonally adjusted labour costs per hour - the measure of how much it costs to employ a member of staff for each hour they work - rose annually during the first three months of the year by 2.7 per cent.

At the same time, the measure increased by 0.7 per cent from the preceding three-month period (Q4 2015).

The largest growth in labour costs were witnessed in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry (up 14.4 per cent year-on-year), while the UK's mining and quarrying industry was the best quarterly performer (down 7.2 per cent).

Across industries, the private sector witnessed a greater average increase in per hour costs than the public sector, with respective rises of 3.3 and 1.1 per cent during Q1 this year.

REC warns against Brexit impact on jobs

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has issued a statement following the UK's decision to leave the EU and claimed that the uncertainty now being witnessed within the economy must not be allowed to impact the nation's recruitment sector.

REC chief executive Kevin Green commented: "Nothing will change overnight. There will be a prolonged period of re-negotiation and readjustment. During this time, government needs to do everything possible to help businesses to grow and create jobs."

He argued that policymakers must use this time effectively to ensure changes to employment regulations, such as the Agency Workers Directive and the Working Time Directive, are carried out in such a manner that does not impact the ability of UK firms to bring in staff and they are able to continue to work effectively on a day-to-day basis.

"We need to ensure that British businesses continue to be able to get the people they need to fill the jobs available. Access to talent is absolutely vital to sustainable economic growth and prosperity," Mr Green concluded.