Knowledge is Power

So, what does 2023 have in store for us?

2022 was a bit of a whirlwind, to put it mildly. Punctuated by uncertainty and constantly changing goal posts, we all welcomed the new year with the hope that things might be a little calmer in 2023. And now that the excitement of the festive season has died down, it’s time to roll our sleeves up and get working on being prepared for everything that 2023 has in store.

But what can we expect as contractors, agencies, end hirers and umbrellas? In this article, we look at the trends and events we anticipate will affect contractor and temporary working for 2023, things we should look out for and prepare for, maybe even look forward to. 

After the furore of 2022, we would all be forgiven for approaching the new working year as gladiators running screaming into battle. But this approach is probably not good for any of our already elevated stress levels. And maybe with a bit of foresight we can take a deep breath and enter the new year with some calmness and positivity.

That’s why we have rounded up the events and trends that we anticipate being significant in the coming months, so that you can enter the new year prepared for what lies ahead.

National Living Wage increase

From April 2023, the National Living Wage will rise by nearly 10% to £10.42. There hasn’t been an increase this much in the last seven years, but it reflects the cost of living crisis and ever rising prices. 

This also means that day rates will need to increase, not only to reflect the rise in NLW but to ensure that contractors in demand are attracted to the positions you offer. 

Don’t leave it until the last minute, if you are not sure how the NLW increase will affect you, do give us a call.

Attraction and retention

With the demand for contractors continuing to outstrip supply as we enter yet another year of a candidate-led market, agencies and end-hirers must also be ready to act quickly to secure the best contractors. And with Gen Z now entering the workforce, outdated recruitment practices won’t be attractive. Having a streamlined and well tested recruiting and onboarding process, taking advantage of the latest technology will mean that contractors remain engaged during the process. 

And offering better communication of roles and their benefits both during and after recruitment (in the form of KIDs), will help ensure that the best contractors are found for roles but also hang around long enough to be of benefit.

In addition, make sure that existing contractors are well looked after, with straightforward and consistent payroll, this will be crucial in retaining those contractors who you already rely on.

The Retained EU Law

With Brexit shockwaves still rippling through legislation, changes are afoot which could have a very significant effect on UK employment law. The retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) bill aims to give ministers the power to remove or replace certain EU laws. The bill includes a “sunset clause” which means that many EU laws will cease at the end of 2023, unless they have been replaced or restated.

This will likely result in the biggest shakeup of UK employment legislation in 20 years, affecting the Agency Workers Regulations, maternity and paternity leave, TUPE, the Working Time Regulations, health and safety laws and many more.

We at Ship Shape are watching this carefully and will keep you informed of any changes to legislation.

Gig work and the gig economy

The gig workforce is expected to continue to dominate, as people look for more flexibility and hirers want to maximise output and minimise costs. And while the gig economy might have once been seen as a threat to traditional recruitment practices, agencies who are embracing the change and adapting to meet the needs of both contractors and end-hirers are benefitting from the new way of working. This will continue throughout 2023, and working practices continue to evolve in a post pandemic market. 

We at Ship Shape are looking forward to navigating 2023 with our clients and contractors and will keep you updated on news and events that might affect you. In the meantime, if you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Wishing you a very Happy New Year from all of us here at Ship Shape!
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