Seasonal recruitment challenges are obvious – here’s how to address them

Working in the hospitality sector before entering politics was a far cry from Whitehall but it gave me some important insight into the challenges employers face during busy periods. I understand the importance of ensuring there are enough people working over the Christmas holidays and during other busy periods throughout the year.
And I want to help employers understand how Universal Credit can ease these issues.
Universal Credit reduces gradually as someone’s income increases. This makes it easier for our jobseekers and people on low incomes to take on short-term or irregular work without it complicating their claim, or risk losing it altogether. It means you can offer existing staff extra hours when your business needs require it, eliminating the need for you to train new staff. That’s good for staff career progression, which is ultimately good for business. And as your business grows, employers have a wider pool of candidates to recruit from.
Universal Credit also removes the rigid rules and barriers that exist under the old Tax Credit and Job Seeker’s Allowance systems we are replacing, that could prevent people from moving into work or taking on more hours when they were offered them.
Our Jobcentre Plus managers asked employers across the country where Universal Credit Full Service is rolled out the differences in recruiting they had experienced under Universal Credit compared to the old system. And the majority of employers said they found it easier to recruit under Universal Credit, including filling part-time or short-term jobs.
Recent research also shows that 60% of employers are aware of Universal Credit which is fairly high, but that needs to increase so all businesses understand its benefits. Over the next year we will see more people come onto Universal Credit as we continue to expand its rollout to more categories of recipient, including couples and those with children. It is likely some of your staff – and potential staff – are already getting Universal Credit, or will be in the near future, so it is important for employers to understand how Universal Credit is good for their businesses.
Universal Credit replaces the six main working age benefits with one simple, monthly payment – so it’s paid the same way as many employees are. It is deliberately designed that way to ease the transition for jobseekers moving into employment.
The latest ONS job statistics out last month show there are a record 798,000 job vacancies created by businesses across the UK. Through the Jobcentre Plus, Universal Jobmatch and by rolling out Universal Credit – we can help you fill them.
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