Written by Kimberley Startup | April 5, 2013
The big national story for businesses and clients of agencies like webrecruit (http://www.webrecruit.co.uk) in recent weeks has been the unveiling of Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne’s Budget.
It was declared a “Budget for businesses”, so has it worked out that way for those firms recruiting staff on the web? The short answer is yes, so it would seem, with promises to cut taxes, a fuel duty freeze and incentives to hire new employees all included.
Even those companies that have been realising the greater efficiency and cost-saving possibilities with online recruitment are appreciating the latest national insurance and personal tax allowance changes.
As well as a 1% decrease in corporation tax, these firms will have fewer national insurance contributions to pay. Meanwhile, low-paid workers will have more money in their pocket as a result of the increased personal allowance, which it can only be hoped will feed nicely into the rest of the economy.
Although the previous growth estimate of 1.2% for this year has been reduced to 0.6%, the beleaguered construction and engineering industry has had better news, in the form of an additional £3 billion investment in infrastructure.
However, many organisations in engineering have already reported difficulties in trying to recruit staff from a shallow pool of suitable candidates, so it’s not such good news that the Budget did not include any new measures to bolster training and apprenticeships.
Something else that organisations involved in staff recruitment should keep in mind is the new funding strategy for Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP), and the opportunities that it could present.
The Government has embraced Lord Heseltine’s suggestion that significant funding for local growth measures is devolved directly to LEPs, which suggests that recruiters with knowledge of local labour markets will be in a good position to drive investment in their area.
The Budget also saw the announcement of various measures against tax avoidance and evasion, including the requirement for the payment of the correct rates of income tax and national insurance, even when offshore intermediaries are used. After all, many recruitment agencies have, in recent years, seen profound distortions of the market due to barely legal, but nonetheless increasingly popular travel and subsistence schemes.
The overall outcome of this Budget is that recruiting staff has become more affordable, businesses are burdened with less corporate tax and workers have been given more take-home pay as a result of tax code tweaks. Combined with the extensive recruitment advertising solutions of webrecruit (http://www.webrecruit.co.uk), such changes should embolden firms in their search for new staff online.