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Hays calls on the elected government to freeze NICS and declare a moratorium on further employment legislation


Hays plc, the world's leading specialist recruiting group, is today publishing its first Manifesto for Employment detailing the serious shortcomings it sees in Britain's jobs market and detailing a 9-point plan that it believes any incoming Government should adopt to tackle them.

From its unrivalled position as Britain's largest recruiting group that last year placed 50,000 professional people in permanent jobs and a further 300,000 in temporary assignments, Hays has undertaken a wide-ranging review of the employment market in Britain.

It concludes that Britain has been steadily losing its competitive position as a centre of employment. Consequently, employment in Britain now sits at a 13-year low and employers face numerous disincentives in terms of hiring new staff, including rising taxes, ever-increasing red tape and serious skill shortages at many levels in the workplace.

Working with Reform, the independent think tank, the group has produced a set of proposals and will present them to politicians and policy leaders at a keynote forum in London this morning.

The nine point proposals are:

  1. Commit to freezing and then reducing employers' National Insurance Contributions
  2. Limit the impact of the EU's Agency Workers Directive
  3. Call a moratorium on new employment legislation
  4. Provide a first-class education system, which equips all school leavers with basic skills and a commercial understanding
  5. Realign further education with the strategic focus of the economy. Give the business community an advisory role in university course and curriculum provision
  6. Increase government funding for apprenticeships, raising their status with employers and improving uptake from school leavers wishing to pursue a vocational route into employment
  7. Introduce commercial disciplines and improve management in the public sector to cope effectively with imminent budget cuts and the likely significant scale of change required
  8. Reconfigure Jobcentre Plus to suit real job seeker needs
  9. Tie immigration quotas more closely to skill needs

Alistair Cox, Chief Executive of Hays, said his company was more than happy to work with all the major political parties to improve their understanding of the jobs market and employers' needs using their daily feedback and data from their thousands of clients across the country.

He said: "At Hays we have a panoramic view of what is happening at the sharp end of the employment market, and we felt it was so important at this moment, before the General Election, to set out what our clients are calling for to help them in getting the country back to work.

"Britain needs to change its attitudes and support for employment to secure a more prosperous future. The statistics say it all; there are more than 8 million non-working adults in this country and yet many of the employers we speak to daily are suffering severe shortages of staff with the appropriate skills. This cannot be the foundation for a vibrant and competitive economy.

"We look forward to seeing the elected Government make employment its number one priority as it sets out its policies."

About Hays

Hays plc (the "Group") is the leading global specialist recruiting group. It is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Australia and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe. It operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. The Group employs over 6,700 staff operating from 345 offices in 28 countries across 17 specialisms.

For the year ended 30 June 2009:

  • the Group had revenues of £2.4 billion, net fees of £670.8 million and operating profit of £158.0 million;
  • the Group placed around 50,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 300,000 people into temporary assignments;
  • the temporary placement business represented 56% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 44% of net fees;
  • Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE and United Kingdom.

For further press information please contact:

Neil Bennett /Brian Hudspith Maitland T. +44 (0) 20 7379 5151

Freida Moore Hays plc T. +44 (0)20 7391 6652 E.