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HR & Finance Newsletter

Spring 2019

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Welcome

We are delighted to introduce you to the Ashley Kate HR & Finance Spring Newsletter. As we start to enjoy longer days, it naturally lightens the mood and we look forward to warmer weather and the year ahead.

As I write, I, as the majority of people, thought that we would have more certainty on the political and economic year ahead. However, it seems that the uncertainty is set to continue for some time, and now very much feels like a way of life.

At Ashley Kate HR & Finance we have been focusing on what we can control and have enjoyed a great start to the year with our Finance division flying and our HR team providing expert support to candidates and clients alike.

We hope you find this newsletter both useful and informative. If you would like to contribute to our next edition, or be involved with our events, articles or blogs please do not hesitate to contact us.

Many thanks,

 

The Ashley Kate HR & Finance Team

Head Office – 0115 9223000

Email – solutions@ashleykatehr.com

Labour Market Report

Labour Market Report

Employment rate rises to 76.1%

Our recently released Ashley Kate HR Salary and Benefits Guide saw us complete a deep dive into the world of HR remuneration, supported by thousands of HR professionals who completed our survey, along with information from Personnel Today. If you didn’t receive a copy, please follow the link to view our 2019 guide, including employment law updates from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP.

https://www.ashleykatehr.com/hr-salary-and-benefits/

On a broader note, you will see from the update below from the ONS, employment continues to rise, finally putting pressure on wage rates more generally.

Employment rate rises to 76.1%

  • The ONS has released its labour market economic commentary for the months from November 2018 to January 2019.
  • The level of employment in the UK increased by 222,000 to a record high of 32.71 million in the three months to January 2019. The UK employment rate was estimated at 76.1%, higher than for a year earlier (75.3%) and the highest figure on record.
  • The UK unemployment rate was estimated at 3.9%; it has not been lower since November 1974 to January 1975.
  • The UK economic inactivity rate was estimated at 20.7%, lower than for a year earlier (21.2%) and the lowest figure on record.
  • Excluding bonuses, average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain were estimated to have increased by 3.4%, before adjusting for inflation, and by 1.4%, after adjusting for inflation, compared with a year earlier.
  • Including bonuses, average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain were estimated to have increased by 3.4%, before adjusting for inflation, and by 1.5%, after adjusting for inflation, compared with a year earlier. Real total average weekly pay increased by 1.5% on the year in January 2019 and real regular average weekly pay increased by 1.4% on the year over the same period.

Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of CV-Library, commented, “In spite of a bleak backdrop amidst Brexit uncertainty, employers appear to be bucking the trend and continuing with their hiring efforts. What’s more, our own data shows that wages are growing significantly, as many organisations seek to pull out all the stops in order to attract the best workers into their companies.  “However, this positive progress is at risk of stalling if the government cannot put aside their differences and work together to secure an efficient exit from the EU. Particularly as we know that many employers are already struggling to recruit the staff they need in order to drive productivity and strong economic growth.”

Pawel Adrjan, UK economist at Indeed, said, “After years of stagnation, average wages are finally rising at a respectable rate. On the recruitment front line, the combination of skills shortages and yet another record high in employment is forcing many employers to ramp up salaries to attract staff.  “While the average worker may notice little difference to their monthly earnings, a lucky few with specialist skills are seeing their pay rise at double-digit rates.  In sectors where there are long-term shortages of skilled staff, such as dentistry, insurance underwriting and industrial engineering, the battle for talent is morphing into an all-out salary arms race.

Ashley Kate HR & Finance Events

Ashley Kate HR & Finance Events

2019 has started in style with both our Leeds and Birmingham HR Director Boardroom events receiving high praise from our attendees. Tracey Jackson, Head of HR from Legal and General Modular Homes led a discussion on Building High Performance during Uncertainty and Ambiguity. Glenn Mead, Face Value Performance Psychology led a session on Headspace, Using Psychological Distance to Make Better Decisions. Both were expertly hosted as always by Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP.

Our last spring HRD event was hosted at Skanska led by Harvey Francis, Group HR and Communications Director, Skanska, who led a discussion on Business Ethics.  This was a truly inspirational morning and everyone was incredibly impressed with the ethical journey Skanska has been on and continues with.

Summaries of these events will available shortly.

Employment law Updates – May and June will then all be about our Employment Law updates, led by experts from Evershed Sutherland (International) LLP. The mornings aim to cover as many updates, changes and current topics as possible.

Manchester – 16th May
Nottingham – 23rd May
London – 6th June (SOLD OUT)
Cambridge – 20th June

 

Legal Updates

Legal Updates

In addition to leading and hosting our Employment Law updates Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP provide a wealth of updates. Click here for their latest quarterly update.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP provide thought-leading briefings and conferences, as well as core courses, to help practitioners develop their understanding of law, regulation and best practice in the workplace. Their summer school this year is HR Summer School: great place to work? at Cumberland Lodge, Windsor Great Park on 16-17 July 2019. This course is aimed at ambitious HR and OD professionals who want to be more effective in their role. Each speaker will help you think about how your organisation uses people, now and in future. If you would like to attend click here.

Ashley Kate Alumni

Ashley Kate Alumni

We were delighted to launch the Ashley Kate Alumni at the beginning of 2019. This exclusive group of HR and Finance professionals celebrates those individuals who have allowed us to support their careers, and we celebrate these careers by offering exclusive benefits to this group.

New Reward Network

New Reward Network

Additionally, new for 2019, and in line with our expansion into finance we have rebranded the Ashley Kate HR Network, to The Ashley Kate Reward Network.

In addition to reduced recruitment costs on all HR and Finance roles, members of the group enjoy:

  • Free annual Salary and Benefits Guide
  • Continuous professional development with access to leading industry experts, insight and intelligence
  • Free networking opportunities at our employment law updates
  • Exclusive member only events
  • Free HR newsletters, surveys and bulletins

 

  • Personal relationship management
  • Discounts on outsourcing and psychometric testing services
  • Access to an even wider portfolio of talent management solutions from our parent company – Nicholas Associates Group
  • Membership to a c18k strong on line HR community
  • Membership to one of the fastest growing Finance LinkedIn groups
  • Free advertising and networking opportunities via job boards and social media sites

 If you are not already a member please contact us on solutions@ashleykatehr.com

 

Guest Articles

Introducing our latest guest blogs from the Ashley Kate HR & Finance News Centre

  • The Importance of a great Credit Controller in your business The Importance of a great Credit Controller in your business

    The Importance of a great Credit Controller in your business

    As a specialist in Finance Recruitment, I help my clients in their search for new Credit Controllers in a variety of industries across the Midlands region. In my opinion...read more...

  • Why being part of 'something' is so beneficial Why being part of 'something' is so beneficial

    Why being part of 'something' is so beneficial

    Working on the launch of our Ashley Kate Alumni got me thinking about the advantages of being part of a group. Obviously, the intention with the Alumni group is... read more...

  • Why Having a Positive, Pro-Work Attitude Is Important in the Workplace Why Having a Positive, Pro-Work Attitude Is Important in the Workplace

    Why Having a Positive, Pro-Work Attitude Is Important in the Workplace

    Why having a positive, pro-work attitude is important in the workplace and how an anti-work attitude will get you fired…read more...

  • Millennial’s and Flexible working Millennial’s and Flexible working

    Millennial’s and Flexible working

    Millennial’s and flexible working are two very big topics which have been in the news consistently, both in the HR world and in general. I am classed as...read more...

  • Six Things Your Accountant Really Wishes You Understood at Tax Time Six Things Your Accountant Really Wishes You Understood at Tax Time

    Six Things Your Accountant Really Wishes You Understood at Tax Time

    We all have high expectations of our accountant but have many of us thought about how we can build the relationship and work more closely with them to...read more...

  • Menopause, let’s get talking - Guest article by Julia Mcfarland Menopause, let’s get talking - Guest article by Julia Mcfarland

    Menopause, let’s get talking - Guest article by Julia Mcfarland

    As I sat at my desk with two fans on full blast (one under my desk to blow up my skirt), I wondered whether I would self-combust. I had also had a period for thirteen days. I couldn’t retain...read more...

Apprenticeship Levy

Apprenticeship Levy

 

 

With the Apprenticeship Levy hitting the headlines for large parts of the year, primarily for negative reasons, we asked the experts in this field at the Apprenticeship Employment Agency, another division of the Nicholas Associates Group to highlight the key issues for the majority of employers.

The National Audit Office reported last month that since funding reforms were introduced, apprenticeship starts have fallen substantially. The NAO highlights that the introduction of the levy significantly changed the pattern of apprenticeship starts. There was a spike in starts in April 2017, before the reforms took effect, but the number of starts fell after this and has not recovered to previous levels. Some of this change may be explained as indicating a move away from apprenticeships that do not meet quality requirements such as apprentices spending at least 20% of their time doing off-the-job training.

It went on to report that the number of starts in 2017/18 was 375,800, 26% lower than the 509,400 starts in 2015/16.2 As a result, the rate of starts would need to double for the government to meet its target of 3 million new starts by March 2020, which it is very unlikely to achieve.”

The take-up of levy funds is below what the Department expected. In 2017-18, levy-paying employers used 9% of the funds available to them to support new apprenticeships, equating to £170 million of almost £2.2 billion available. Partly because of this, the Department spent less on the programme than it budgeted. In 2017-18, it spent £1.6 billion, which was £0.4 billion less than budgeted.

The fall was particularly marked for level 2 apprentices aged 25 or over, with 55% fewer starts in 2017/18 compared with 2015/16.

Stakeholders believe that the fall in starts may have been because employers and training providers were uncertain about how the new system would work. It may also be an indication of a move away from apprenticeships that do not meet quality requirements such as apprentices spending at least 20% of their time doing off-the-job training.

The Apprenticeship Employment Agency work closely with many large and small employers across the UK and believe there are 3 main reasons for this decline

  • There is a lethargy to start new apprentices due to red tape, contract management and overcomplicated messages from the Government as to managing new apprentices in the workplace.
  • Many employers feel the pressure of additional time off the job due to mandatory Math and English qualifications that need to be met as part of the apprenticeship completion which must be delivered outside the ‘already cumbersome’ 20% off the job requirement.
  • The  ‘real cost’ of apprenticeship’s is not the funding value, backfilling productivity requirements with additional employee/apprentice numbers to cover ‘off the job’ learning time requirements is not feasible for businesses in the current economic climate and can potentially include having a ‘junior’ for apprentice mentors/supervisors and apprentices of all levels alike.

The Apprentice Employment Agency would welcome your thoughts from within your own business to see how we can overcome these issues with our agile apprentice recruitment and employment solutions – Jakki.lovewell@apprentice-employment.co.uk

Source: NAO introduction The Apprenticeship Programme https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/The-apprenticeships-programme.pdf

NA Group in the spotlight

NA Group in the spotlight

Ashley Kate HR & Finance are part of the Nicholas Associates Group, market leading partner of choice for talent management solutions. From Apprentice to Boardroom and we would like to take this opportunity to introduce to you our sister brand Graduate Talent Solutions,  Your Graduate recruiter of choice

Graduate Talent Solutions have had a busy start to the year with the launch of their What’s Next campaign, aimed at Graduates looking for a career path after leaving University.

Someone who has experience of what it is like after university is our Graphic Designer, Callum Parker. Cal and the team at NA Consulting have written a personal article about ‘Life After University’. Give it a read below.

Alternatively, if you would like to hear more about how GTS can help future proof your business visit their website today graduatetalentsolutions.co.uk, or call us for an informal introduction.

Good News for Ashley Kate!

Good News for Ashley Kate!

We were delighted to have Lisa Gainsford, CEO, visit our office to present two very worthy Senior Consultants with certificates.

Natasha James, Senior HR Recruitment Consultant and Kate Ryder, Senior Finance Recruitment Consultant have been working extremely hard to achieve a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Leadership and Development.

Through all their hard work and a drive to be their best, they did it! Their efforts definitely paid off as they were granted distinctions in this course.

We celebrate our Recruiters successes’ on a monthly basis with our Management Choice Awards, which are presented to the consultants that have gone above and beyond and exceeded expectations.

Our March award winners were Scott Gregory, Finance Recruitment Consultant and Cameron Davies, HR Recruitment Consultant. Naomi Asher, Head of Ashley Kate and Jacqui Wall, Head of HR Recruitment presented them their certificates.

Finally...

We hope you found the first newsletter of 2019 informative and of benefit.

The next Ashley Kate HR & Finance Newsletter will be out in the summer, if you would like to contribute, please email: solutions@ashleykatehr.com

 

We look forward to working with you soon.

 

Kind regards,

The Ashley Kate HR & Finance Team

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The UK’s market leading partner of choice for talent management solutions, from Apprentice to Boardroom.

Our teams are specialists in their field, supporting apprentice and graduate placements, flexible workers, quality permanent recruitment, executive search and innovative L&D and software consultancy. Click below to visit our company websites.