23rd November 2021

Riding the jobs roller coaster

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With the furlough scheme ending at the end of September there was huge concern that the country would be faced with a large number of redundancies, however that appears not to be the case. In fact, the opposite seems to be happening, with the number of people on UK payrolls in October rising to 29.3 million, job vacancies increase and an increase of 160,000 on September’s figures.

But it’s not just that the number of workers on the payroll is increasing, we have also learned from the Office for National Statistics (ONS)  that job vacancies hit a record high in October, with 1.17 million job openings – almost 400,000 higher than before the pandemic.

Sam Beckett, head of economic statistics at the ONS says:

“It might take a few months to see the full impact of furlough coming to an end, as people who lost their jobs at the end of September could still be receiving redundancy pay. 

“However, October’s early estimate shows the number of people on the payroll rose strongly on the month and stands well above its pre-pandemic level.

“There is also no sign of an upturn in redundancies, and businesses tell us that only a very small proportion of their previously furloughed staff have been laid off. In addition, vacancies again reached a new record high.”

Changing reward packages

As a consequence, employers are having to think carefully about the reward packages they offer in a bid to fill the empty posts, as they are forced to offer improved pay and benefits to attract new recruits.

But, whilst the offer of bumper benefit packages will bring yet more work for the payroll department, there are signs that it’s not only the financial rewards which attract new staff, with employers also needing to provide different types of flexible working arrangements along with the opportunity to develop new skills.

One thing is for sure, whilst the country breathes a collective sigh of relief that the jobs market is much more buoyant than predicted, it means that, once again, payroll departments across the land are going to be kept very busy!

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

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