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Bank of England, the jobs market and the knock-on effect for employers

19 August 2015

Earlier this month the Bank of England Governor and other members of the Monetary Policy Committee held their regular press conference to announce publication of the latest UK inflation report. As we all know, inflation continues to be at a long-term low, prompting suggestions of a rise in interest rates on the horizon.

However the Governor also had some interesting comments to make about the jobs market. He pointed to something which most business leaders have probably been experiencing empirically – a tightening in the labour market, rising wages, and also rising productivity.

The Bank of England sees various indicators of that ‘tightness’ – the vacancies to unemployment rate is back at historic averages; job to job churn has moved up quite sharply; and the amount of short-term unemployment is back down below historic averages.

The downward trend in unemployment, together with a degree of productivity growth, is boosting real incomes, and the Monetary Policy Committee thinks that this year will see significant growth of real labour incomes. Indeed there has already been a marked pick-up in wage growth over the past six months.

For employers, this means that there will be increased competition for good staff. So it is a good time to look at the performance of your staff. Ask yourself:

  • if your productivity is rising generally, is everyone contributing to that equally?
  • should you be looking at positively managing underperformers in order to pull them up by their bootlaces?
  • if you were to part company with them, would you be able to do so fairly, and would you be convinced you could find better candidates?

Also, keep an eye on your star performers, and don’t assume that your competitors won’t be keen to poach them away with promises of streets paved with gold. What can you be doing to keep hold of those stars, or at least to prevent them from competing unfairly if they do decide to leave?

All of these questions require consideration of the employment law implications. Fortunately, experts Matthew Clayton and Laura Davis of Willans’ employment team will be on hand to answer your burning questions, at our breakfast seminar on Tuesday 22 September at the National Star College, Ullenwood, Cheltenham.

The seminar is titled “Ask the experts” – delegates are asked to submit their questions in advance but, depending on timings, there may be opportunity for further questions on the day.

 If you wish to book a place on our seminar, please register  supplying the full name of the attendee(s), your company details and telephone number. Alternatively, please call our events team on 01242 542916.

Register here

 

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