UK Job Market – hot off the press!

Welcome to our latest blog – packed with news from the world of recruitment.  To go straight to the article that interests you most, click on the headline.

Balmy days for the UK job market – but storm clouds lie ahead

Happy news!  We’re ethical!

Interview insight – just engage

Hot news!  How the government got it wrong …
… and other Employment Law nuggets

Balmy days for the UK job market – but storm clouds lie ahead.
We’re members of the REC (Recruitment Employment Confederation).  This means we’re on the ball – always up-to-date with changes and developments in the recruitment market.  The other day we attended a webinar which highlighted the current happy state of the UK job market.  It seems that the current growth in the economy is contributing towards a healthy 32.3 million people in work – 0.5% up on the same quarter last year.  Even better, the unemployment rate is down to 4.3% – historically a negligible figure and one of the best, even rivalling Germany.

However, the news isn’t all rosy (whenever is it?).  Employers are struggling to fill roles.  There are currently over 810,000 job vacancies, demonstrating a worrying candidate shortage.  Once Brexit is done and dusted, this market will doubtless be squeezed even further.

Need to know more about the UK Job Market?  Get in touch.

Happy news! We’re ethical!
We’re proud of our ethical standards.  That’s why we’re a Corporate member of the REC.  To be a member, every two years, we have to sit an exam on our industry’s Conduct Regulations.  The other week, my turn came around and … I passed with flying colours!  This means I’m good at what I do.  So, if you’re not sure you’re getting the support you deserve from your recruitment network, just get in touch.

Interview insight – just engage
“How did it go?”, I asked a crestfallen candidate the other day.  He’d just returned from an interview for a role as a Mechanical Engineer.  His reply –
“The feedback was that I didn’t interact.  I was difficult to extract information from.  What’s their problem?  I applied for a role as an Engineer – not a Radio Presenter”.
This was sad news for both of us.  But this tale does underline the important, often ignored, truth.  Your skills are important.  Of course they are.  But so are your ‘people skills’ – especially during the interview process.  But there’s good news.  I use my wide experience in the world of jobs to provide interview training that will make all the difference.

Find out more.  Get in touch …

Employment Law nuggets
Michelle Morgan of Gardner Leader Solicitors is a good friend and colleague.  She’s an employment solicitor.  Every so often we get together and bat around newsinformation and ideas.  Here are some snippets from our last meeting.

Hot news!  How the government got it wrong
Since July 2013, UK workers, wanting to bring a claim to tribunal, have been hit with a triple-whammy.  They are charged an initial fee.  Then, if the claim is heard, they must pay a second fee, and yet a third charge if they want to appeal the decision.

It transpires that, Employment Tribunal fees are unlawful under both UK and EU law because they prevent access to justice.

Following their introduction in 2013, Unison have been fighting the ruling.  In two High Court challenges and in the Court of Appeal, they were unsuccessful.  Unison’s final appeal to the Supreme Court was heard on early in 2017 … and they were successful, with the decision being announced in July.

So – what does this mean for aggrieved employees?

Currently, if you want to bring an employment tribunal claim, there’s no fee to pay.  With the Government currently preoccupied with Brexit, there are no immediate plans to change this.  Employment lawyers do believe that fees might be introduced in the long term – but at a reduced rate.  So, access to justice shouldn’t be unduly affected.

What about fees already paid or due to be paid?

The Supreme Court has clearly stated that the Lord Chancellor’s Department must refund all fees paid since 2013.  The Lord Chancellor has acknowledged this.  The total to be re-paid could amount to around £33 million.  The Ministry of Justice and the Courts Services announced recently that there would be a phased implementation of the scheme.  Initially, the Courts will invite approximately 1,000 eligible parties to apply for reimbursement.  Full roll-out of the scheme is expected to take place in the coming weeks.  Successful applicants will also receive interest at a rate of 0.5%, calculated from the date of the original payment up until the refund date.

Those entitled to a refund include:

  • Parties who paid an issue fee which was not later paid by their opponent.
  • Parties who were ordered to pay their opponent’s costs.

If you think you may be entitled to a refund, register your interest by e-mail to –

If you have any employment law queries, either as an employer or an employee, Michelle Morgan would be delighted to help.  Send an email to –

To find out more about any of these topics or anything ‘recruitment’

Give me call – Chris Dyckes – 01295 724570.

Or send an email –


It would be great to hear from you.

REC figures on the Economy!

Avatar Recruitment is delighted to report the most ‘hot off the press’ information from the REC (Recruitment Employment Confederation), on the employment market. Could this affect your business?

For all those of you who are looking for new roles at present, there is some excellent news hot off the press from the REC on the current labour market and for those of you recruiting, some interesting statistics to consider when recruiting for new roles and what the information will mean for you!

GDP is currently slowing in growth and was at 2.0% for 2016 and for this year is forecast to be between 1.6% and 1.9%.

There is currently record employment with 31.95 million in employment – now showing as 74.8% the highest since 1971 when records began and juggling for position with Germany who are around 75%. Compare this to the US whose employment is 62% – 63%.

Unemployment is low at 4.6% which is down from 5.1% at the end of 2015.

There are 381,000 more people in work now than a year ago, with 777,000 vacancies advertised every month, resulting in 3.7 million more jobs since 2010!

Report on Jobs for June 2017 which is the REC research shows that permanent appointments have seen the sharpest increase for over two years.

For the employer, this demonstrates that you will find it harder to fill jobs and that starting salaries are already continuing to grow, along with temp rates. For more information and advice on any recruitment campaigns, please contact an REC member for further support! Avatar is a Corporate member.

The other news is that the REC is trying to influence Government, so that any new policies that affect the Employment Market is given the utmost consideration by Government before running them out, such as deep analysis, conducted on behalf of the REC regarding the Migration Policy, Data Protection and IR35 plus the effects on the Self Employed who life is getting more challenging for, but who take a great deal of risk, with few benefits now!

Now that you are probably in full time employment, you need to be watching what Mortgage advice you are getting and my friend and colleague Terry Humphreys has published some information below, although dated Autumn/Winter 2016 it is still very relevant and my other colleague Nigel Scrimshaw can find you the perfect holiday tailored to your needs both in the UK and abroad, whatever your desire is.

Life’s A Beach

By now the holiday celebrations are a distant memory, you may have broken your new year’s resolution many times by now, and Christmas puddings have been replaced by Cadburys Crème eggs on our supermarket shelves. But one thing that never changes at this time of year along with the Fog and the Ice is, the cavalcade of TV adverts showing white shell sand and turquoise blue waters, tempting you to far flung exotic places.

But when you see these pictures you may imagine these places to be far flung paradise islands, but did you know you don’t have to take a 14 hour plane journey to see some of the most spectacular stretches of sea and sand on the planet. There are plenty to be found in Greece and Cyprus.

From the white shell sand and aqua marine sea that laps the shore of Halkidiki Greece to the golden sands of Nissi bay in Cyprus, they offer just about everything a beach loving dreamer could want, alongside a rich history and colourful culture to boot. But with several thousand beaches in Greece alone, the tricky part is knowing which one to choose. To help heres one of my favourites.


life beachIf your looking for a super luxury option that caters for families as well as couples, look to Halkidiki.It features extensive, fine, white, sandy beaches with crystal clear waters. The four mile long Bousoulas Beach is a renowned hang out for party goers, with weekly “white night” beach parties. The water is shallow enough for kids to swim in, and clear enough to snorkel in, and the sun sets aren’t bad either, think glorious swathes of pink and orange fusing over the ripples below.

Sani resorts with its four properties is a popular choice in the area, offering several private beaches, and a range of water sports and activities. Its also a great choice for families with kids clubs and a “Babewatch” service, which gives parents a 30 minute break away from the little ones.

A week half board starts at £855 in April including flights. Bookable through Nigel.scrimshaw@Travel

Travel counsellors is an independent travel company offering a friendly, one to one travel service, offering a personal relationship with an experienced travel expert. Your expert plans your perfect trip, stress free and while you’re away we will be here for you 24/7. Your travel counsellor will take time to get to know you and tailor your perfect holiday, and every penny of your booking is completely protected by our unique financial protection trust.


Life After Brexit In The Recruitment Industry

In our last newsletter Avatar pointed out the complexity of leaving Brexit with regards to employment and employment law, to assist as part of the decision process.

You may be pleased to hear that we are liaising closely with the Recruitment Employment Confederation (REC) regarding feedback after Brexit on the job market, and to date business seems to be as normal! Despite all the ‘doom and gloom’ predicted , the GDP is up and anticipated to reach 1% by next year. We have record employment figures at 31.8 million which is the highest since records began in 1971 and the employment rate in the UK is 75.4% beaten only by Germany which is fractionally higher compared to North America whose employment is 63% there is still positivity in the UK. Avatar will endeavour to keep you updated on the trends every quarter so that we can monitor the effects.

Latest News

Avatar is reviewing new technology to enhance its offers to its clients which includes online interviewing using the latest technology and internet lines to have meeting rooms where we can see our candidates and interview them, recording them if required and sending the recording to our clients for their review as part of the recruitment process. We are also looking at online testing, which is an online pre-employment screening to measure competency and assessment of skills, offering training to match their requirements, plus testing to ensure the retention of knowledge. This includes everything from software skills such as Microsoft Office, Sage to typing skills and language translation. This is also compatible with our new software by Voyager so the links can be generated by our CRM system.

Technology and the Recruitment Industry go hand in hand these days, moving at such a fast pace that it is difficult to keep up, but Avatar embraces this and wants to offer our clients and candidates the best experience!


Our warmest congratulations go out to Anitha and her family who have just had a new addition in the way of a baby girl! Anitha who is part of the research area of the business is overjoyed that they now have a boy and a girl to be part of their unit!

Avatar has reached out to its partners to provide some more interesting features for you, please look at the links below and read on…

Gig economy hit by Uber Employment Tribunal ruling (28 October 2016)

The Employment Tribunal’s decision to class these particular Uber drivers as ‘workers’ rather than ‘self-employed’ will have repercussions throughout the gig industry and is highly likely to lead to a rethinking of the employment status of these workers and with it, a clarification of their employment rights. It is also likely to impact on Uber drivers in the EU who are also bound by the Working Time Regulations.

Decision sheds clarity on definition of worker

The gig economy has thrived on companies using a pool of self-employed or freelance workers rather than directly employing them but this has, at times, led to a misunderstanding amongst various businesses over who is classed as self-employed and who is classed as a worker. The difference has a significant impact because workers in law have a range of employment rights that they are able to enforce. People are classed as workers when there is a mutuality of obligation on the part of the business to provide work that these workers are obliged to undertake, with a degree of control by the business as to where, when and how the work is to be carried out. This contrasts with genuinely self-employed contractors who usually are free to accept or decline work.

Greater cost to the ‘gig’ industry and consumers

The Employment Tribunal’s decision today certainly sheds clarity on the employment status of this new breed of ‘freelancer’ currently fuelling the growth of the UK gig economy. However, consequences of the judgment is likely to result in increased costs to the gig industry in order to comply with the new employment laws, and it’s probable that these will be passed on to the consumer, such as through higher fees, delivery rates and prices for goods and services. The service industry like couriers, fast food delivery companies and portable cleaning operators are likely to be hit the hardest. Workers, not to be confused with employees who have greater employment rights in law, are also entitled to minimum legal rights. These include for example, the right to claim unfair dismissal, to receive statutory sick pay maternity, paternity and parental rights; to be paid the national living or minimum wage depending if they are aged 25 or more; to have working time rights such as not to be forced to work more than 48 hours per week, regular rest breaks and night working health and safety standards; to receive a statement of terms and conditions of employment. Further, Uber will need to have a qualifying auto-enrolment pension scheme in place and backdate any pension contributions.

There is also the issue of immigration. If those you hire are classed as workers then the burden to vet them will be on the business to ensure that all those individuals have the right to live and work in the UK. Failure to do so can lead to fines and ultimately criminal sanctions against the business and also the individual, not to mention the risk of bad publicity should the business fail to compile to any minimum legal employment rights.

Take action

Businesses concerned as to how this ruling may affect them should seek timely legal advice on their recruitment policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the law. It is also imperative that they issue written terms and conditions to these workers clarifying pay rates, hours of work, role and responsibilities, sickness provisions, holiday entitlement and health and safety and equal opportunity policies. It is also no good having a succession of fixed term contracts either to get around the law as after the fourth renewal of a fixed term contract it will be deemed to be permanent.

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