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Key signs it’s time to look for a new job!

It happens to all of us, and we are all entitled to an off day at work but what’s the difference between one of those off days to a mere sign you need to start looking for a new job!

  1. You complain about your work:

You often find yourself complaining about work to either colleagues, friends, or family. When you talk about work there seems to be more negatives than positives. If you are finding it hard to feel positive about work in general and feel you constantly need to let of steam or complain then perhaps its a sign to look for pastures new.

  • Those Monday Blues:

We all have them; you have just had a relaxing and enjoyable weekend then reality hits and its back to work for another week. Everyone experiences this from time to time but if you are dreading going in to work each Monday and you feel anxious about the prospect of going to work each week then maybe it is something more than those Monday Blues.

  • The challenge:

Everyone needs to be kept motivated in their job role, its that motivation that makes us ensure we do a fantastic job but what if that is lacking and simply you find you are not being challenged enough. If you are finding the position boring or find yourself twiddling your fingers a lot throughout the day perhaps a new challenge is in order.

  • The almighty career ladder:

Are you wanting to build on your career, build your skillset and gain more experience and feel you have learnt everything you possibly can in your current position? Maybe progression is on the cards, but what if there is no progression in your current job. Lack of progression or lack of a clear path to your career goals could mean its time to switch up and change.

  • Company Struggles:

You love your job and your colleagues and you enjoy going in to work each morning, but the news your employer is financially struggling. It is one of those catch 22 moments, on one hand you absolutely love your job but on the other having job security is majorly important to you. Weighing up the options on this one is a must but if job security is at the top, then maybe jumping ahead of the game and looking for a new job before redundancies kick in may be on the cards.

There could be many reasons and signs which say its time to move on and jump ship but if this is something you are unsure on then, speaking to a local agency could help. An agency can assist talking you through the current job market, help you with your CV and assist you in applying for jobs ultimately giving you more options.

Agencies can also assist with negotiating new employment contracts for you and supporting you through handing in your notice, being an ear to listen to and offer advice when needed.

If you would like support in finding a new job or want to test the waters, then have a chat with one of our friendly and confident consultants here and Direct Response and see how we can help.

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The Perfect Interview

In today’s highly competitive job market, facing an interview is more vital than ever. The difference between landing your dream job and returning to the drawing board often lies in your ability to navigate the interview process effectively. But what does the perfect interview look like?

1. Preparation is Key

In the context of an interview, preparation is not merely about researching the company or the role but understanding how your skills, experience, and personality align with the company’s values and job requirements.

Research the Company: Understand their mission, values, culture, and recent accomplishments. This will help you tailor your responses to show how you can contribute to their goals.

Understand the Role: Analise the job description thoroughly. Identify the key skills required and prepare examples from your past experiences that demonstrate these skills.

Prepare Your Questions: Asking thoughtful questions reflects your genuine interest in the role and the company.

2. First Impressions Matter

Your arrival time, attire, and initial greeting can set the tone for the rest of the interview.

Arrive Early: Aim to arrive 10-15 minutes before the scheduled time.

Dress Appropriately: Research the company culture and dress accordingly. When in doubt, err on the side of formality.

Be Polite and Positive: Begin with a firm handshake, maintain eye contact, and don’t forget to smile.

3. Mastering the Art of Communication

The perfect interview isn’t just about answering questions correctly; it’s about communicating effectively.

Listen Actively: Before responding, ensure you understand the question. If unsure, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.

Answer Concisely: Provide clear, concise, and structured responses. Use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method to frame your answers.

Show Enthusiasm: Your passion for the role and the industry should be evident in your responses.

4. Be Yourself

Remember, the interview is not just about assessing your skills and experience. It’s also about seeing if you’re a cultural fit for the company.

Show Authenticity: Be honest about your experiences, strengths, and weaknesses. Authenticity resonates with interviewers.

Showcase Your Personality: Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. Companies value diverse teams with unique perspectives.

5. The Follow-up

The perfect interview doesn’t end when you walk out of the room.

Follow Up: If you haven’t heard back within the stipulated time, don’t hesitate to follow up with the recruiter.

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Anti Slavery Week

Anti-Slavery Day takes place every year on the 18 October. Anti-Slavery Day is part of Anti-Slavery week, a UK and European awareness week, which this year runs from 16 – 22 October 2023.

In 2010, an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom introduced a national day to raise awareness of the need to eradicate all forms of slavery, human trafficking and exploitation. Today, we continue to raise awareness of these issues, highlighting good practice.

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Rolled Up’ Holiday Pay:

An Administrative Convenience or Legal Risk?


While the concept of ‘rolled-up’ holiday pay may seem perplexing, it still holds considerable relevance in today’s UK employment market. The idea revolves around including an employee’s holiday pay in their regular wage, rather than paying it separately when they take their annual leave.

This approach is often associated with flexibility and simplicity, particularly for contract or part-time workers. However, it’s not without its controversies and legal implications, thus necessitating a comprehensive understanding. Our aim in this article is to shed light on the concept of rolled-up holiday pay, its benefits, drawbacks, and its place in the contemporary UK market.

How does rolled up holiday pay function?

“Rolled-up Holiday Pay” is a practice where businesses encompass holiday pay within the regular pay of their workers, instead of disbursing it when the employees take their actual leave.

Despite the ruling in the Robinson-Steele v PD Retail Services case [2006] by the European Court of Justice, the practice of ‘rolled up’ holiday pay still endures in the UK market. The Court stipulates that payment for holidays should be made when the actual holidays are taken, technically rendering ‘rolled up’ holiday pay impermissible.

This ruling was instituted to ensure that workers are not dissuaded from taking their rightful time off due to concerns over finances. The continuation of ‘rolled up’ holiday pay, however, indicates a nuanced situation wherein the practicalities of the working world and the legislative guidelines seem to diverge.

The common critique against the usage of rolled up holiday pay is that it creates a financial disincentive for workers to take their rightful holidays, given they are not being compensated directly during their time off. The European Court encouraged EU member states to take decisive action to terminate this practice. Despite this exhortation, the UK government has yet to promulgate legislation expressly prohibiting the use of rolled up holiday pay.

However, in non-statutory guidance, the government has asserted that any contractual arrangements involving rolled up holiday pay should be subject to renegotiation. This demonstrates the ongoing tension between efforts to ensure fair compensation for workers and the practical considerations of payroll management.

Why is it still in use?

Businesses that employ casual and/or zero-hour contract workers often prefer to use the ‘rolled up’ holiday pay system. The primary reason is convenience. The calculation of a flexible worker’s holiday leave entitlement, along with the corresponding pay, can be a complex and time-consuming administrative task. 

This complexity is amplified by the fluid nature of casual and zero-hour contracts, where work hours can fluctuate significantly from week to week. Furthermore, considering annual leave can create complications when scheduling work rotas. By incorporating holiday pay within the standard pay, businesses find a streamlined solution that circumvents these challenges, despite the potential legal ambiguities involved.

What risks do employers face when utilizing rolled up holiday pay?

Employers who choose to implement ‘rolled up’ holiday pay run the risk of potential double payment. If a worker is able to effectively demonstrate that the structure of their pay has discouraged them from taking their legally entitled holidays, they might be eligible for ‘just and equitable’ remuneration. Consequently, the employer could end up compensating the worker twice for the same holiday period – once within the ‘rolled up’ holiday pay and a second time as a compensatory measure.

An additional implication could be that workers are allowed to defer their holiday entitlement to the subsequent holiday year. If these workers then decide to leave the organisation, they retain the right to demand a payout in lieu of their unused holiday time upon termination of their contract. Hence, while ‘rolled up’ holiday pay may initially appear to streamline administrative processes, it also poses considerable monetary risks for employers.

Additionally, for workers with irregular hours, the ‘rolled up’ holiday pay system may not always equate to an accurate reflection of their holiday pay entitlement. Factors such as fluctuations in their work hours can lead to miscalculations, resulting in either insufficient or excessive payment. This inconsistency can bring about the risk of claims against the business for unlawful deductions of wages. If a worker believes they have been underpaid, they may choose to take legal action, further complicating the scenario for the employer. 

On the flip side, if the worker has been overpaid due to inaccuracies in the ‘rolled up’ pay calculation, it creates a financial burden on the business. This highlights yet another risk factor employers must consider when opting to use the ‘rolled up’ holiday pay system.

What are the necessary steps for businesses implementing rolled up holiday pay?

For businesses choosing to implement the ‘rolled up’ holiday pay system, transparency and clear communication with their workforce is paramount. An initial step in this direction would entail introducing the usage of rolled up holiday pay as part of the recruitment process. Prospective employees should be made aware of this practice from the onset, and written confirmation must be obtained from them indicating their understanding and acceptance of this payment model.

It is essential to emphasize here that, while workers can choose to accept their holiday pay being rolled up into their standard pay, they retain the right to opt for paid annual leave at any point in the future. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that, as per the European Court of Justice, workers cannot completely waive their holiday pay rights. No matter the pay structure in place, these rights remain inviolable and mandatory, thereby ensuring that workers are not disadvantaged in any way.

In essence, while the ‘rolled up’ holiday pay system may provide administrative convenience for employers, its use necessitates open dialogue and mutual agreement with employees to avoid misinterpretation, ensure compliance with the law, and maintain industrial harmony.

As a crucial step towards transparency, employers using the ‘rolled up’ holiday pay system must ensure that payslips issued to workers clearly distinguish between holiday pay and basic pay. This distinction is not merely for clarity’s sake; it is a legal requirement for employers to provide itemised payslips. The payslip should explicitly break down the payment, stating the specific amount attributed to basic pay and the sum designated as holiday pay.

This practice helps to avoid any confusion or disputes regarding payment, enabling workers to fully comprehend their compensation structure. Moreover, it allows for better tracking and validation of whether the holiday pay component aligns accurately with an employee’s entitlement based on their working hours. It is, therefore, paramount for businesses to incorporate this step into their payroll process, ensuring a more transparent and just system.

Lastly, under no circumstances should businesses prevent workers from taking their annual leave. In fact, businesses should ideally adopt a proactive approach in encouraging their flexible staff members to take their holidays. The significance of this cannot be overstated. Holidays are an essential part of maintaining a healthy work-life balance; they provide workers with the opportunity to rest, recharge, and return to work with renewed vigor. As such, businesses must foster a culture that promotes and values time off.

This could involve periodically reminding workers of their remaining holiday entitlement, or perhaps even implementing a system that highlights upcoming periods of lower workload, when taking leave could be most beneficial. Ultimately, the aim should be to create a supportive environment where workers feel comfortable taking their earned leave without fear of repercussion or negative impact on their job security.

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Labour Market overview

  • 4% or 1.37 million people were unemployed; an increase of 77,000 on the quarter and just 6,000 up on pre-pandemic numbers
  • Employment rate increased slightly to 76%
  • 8.66 million people are economically inactive, 141,000 lower than the last quarter driven by those aged 25 and over
  • Economically inactive is still 281,000 higher than pre-pandemic levels, largely driven bybstudents and the long-term sick
  • Vacancies fell again to 1.03 million, the 12th consecutive quarterly fall
  • The estimate of payrolled employees for June 2023 shows a monthly decrease, down 9,000 on the revised May figure to 30 million, but a staggering 1.027 million up on pre-pandemic levels
  • Growth in total pay rose to 6.9% and regular pay was 7.3% and both fell in real terms by 1.2% and 0.8% respectively
  • Redundancies remained at 3.3 per thousand employees, lower than pre-pandemic levels
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The Recruitment Struggle

It has been reported today with surveying of businesses across the UK that a whooping 76% of UK companies are struggling to hire new staff.

Recruitment being a hot topic in the news at the moment with 3 in 4 companies struggling to recruit and retain staff which is a massive number and with the market still being candidate led, what can companies do to attract and retain staff.

Years back candidates went where the money was but now we are finding although having a great salary and benefits, company culture is what is important, staff stay or go where they feel most valued and respected.

So what can you implement in your business to ensure you attract and train your staff?


Culture is everything and ensuring staff feel happy, valued and respected within the business and amongst colleagues is key, so what can you do to ensure your staff are happy within the work place. Having open door policies, staff want to be able to address and raise concerns without feeling penalised, likewise they want to ensure they can share ideas and thoughts openly and feel they are being listened too. Offering staff flexibility, work life balance and not to feel micro managed. Having team events / team building exercise and most importantly, have a work hard play hard culture, get the job done but ensure staff can laugh and enjoy along the way.

Salary and Benefits:

Of course this one will be up there in key ways to attract and retain staff and its a pretty simple one to navigate, having an attractive salary within a job role of course will attract candidates to the role. Go above the average for that role, pay staff their value along with additional incentives such as increased holiday entitlement, discounted perks, life style benefits, bonuses and ensure these are regularly reviewed. You will be surprised the return you will get from an employee when you pay they what they deserve with additional incentives.

The Recruitment Process:

So you have had a lot of candidates apply for the job role, don’t wait around to short list as good candidates won’t stay on the market for long, so get interviews lined up in your diary. There is nothing worst to candidates than a lengthy and drawn out recruitment process, if you are taking a long time to get back to candidates or having a extremely long interview process such as multiple interviews / tests and so on, it can put candidates off. a one or two stage interview process we thinks works well in keeping candidates engaged, anything longer than this, you may risk loosing candidates interest.

If you want to have a chat with one of our friendly consultants who can work with you in offering advice on ways to improve candidate attraction and retention then get in touch today.

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The latest ONS Labour Market Overview reported:

1.33 million people were unemployed; 23.5% have been unemployed for more than 12 months and a 0.1% increase on previous quarter

  • Employment rate increased slightly to 75.9%
  • 8.73 million people are economically inactive, 156,000 lower than the last quarter, driven by part time and self-employed workers.
  • Economic inactivity is still 361,000 higher than pre-pandemic levels, and 586,000 are classified as long term sick but want to have a job
  • Record high movement of people out of economic inactivity into employment
  • Vacancies fell again to 1.08 million, the tenth consecutive quarterly fall.  The number of unemployed people per vacancy was 1.2
  • The number of payrolled employees fell for the first time since February 2021 down 136,000 to at 29.8 million
  • Growth in total pay was 5.8% and regular pay was 6.7% and they fell in real terms by 3% and 2% respectively.
  • 5.9 million people were claiming Universal Credit, of which 1.44 million were searching for work
  • Redundancies fell to 2.8 per thousand employees and is lower than pre-pandemic levels
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We are celebrating our 25th Business Anniversary

We are proud to be celebrating 25 years within the recruitment industry this week on Friday 5th May, and wanted to take this opportunity to say a big THANK YOU to all our past and present work colleagues, candidates, and clients.

Throughout these 25 years, we have been through recessions, and a pandemic and seen the recruitment industry change rapidly over the years. However, we are pleased to say one thing that has not changed is commitment and focus in finding the right candidates for the right job and that has been our mission for over a quarter of a century.

It has been hard work, working long hours, ensuring we are available out of hours 24/7 to give our clients and candidates the service they deserve but would not change it for the world.

We have laughed, we have had fun and we have met some great characters and we look forward to continuing to provide a quality service to our clients and candidates.

So once again THANK YOU for all your support and here is to the next 25 years.

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Celebrating The Coronation of His Majesty The King

The Coronation of His Majesty The King will take place on Saturday 6th May 2023.

The Coronation Ceremony will take place at Westminster Abbey, London, and will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Ceremony will see His Majesty King Charles III crowned alongside The Queen Consort.

The Coronation will reflect the monarch’s role today and look towards the future while being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry.

About The King

King Charles III, formerly known as The Prince of Wales, became King on the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II on 8 September 2022.

In addition to his official and ceremonial duties in the United Kingdom and overseas as The Prince of Wales, His Majesty has taken a keen and active interest in all areas of public life for decades. The King has been instrumental in establishing more than 20 charities over 40 years, including The Prince’s TrustThe Prince’s Foundation and The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund (PWCF).

His Majesty has worked closely with many organisations, publicly supporting a wide variety of causes relating to the environment, rural communities, the built environment, the arts, healthcare and education.

As Their Majesties’ Coronation draws closer, read on for 25 fun facts about The King.

  1. Prince Charles Philip Arthur George was born at Buckingham Palace on 14th November 1948 at 9.14pm, weighing 7lbs 6oz. The Prince was christened on 15th December 1948 at Buckingham Palace.
  2. The former Prince Charles became heir apparent (next in line to the throne) at the age of three years old in 1952, and went onto become the longest serving Prince of Wales in 2017. His Majesty was the first heir to see his mother crowned as Sovereign.
  3. The King has three siblings, two sons, two step-children, five grandchildren and five step-grandchildren.
  4. The first formal photograph of The King was taken by Cecil Beaton in December 1948.
  5. His Majesty’s first visit abroad was to Malta, when he was five years old. Since 1969, he has visited 48 Commonwealth countries, many of them on several occasions.
  6. The King was the first heir to the throne to earn a university degree. The King studied archaeology and anthropology in his first year at the University of Cambridge, switching to history for the remainder of his degree. His Majesty also spent a term at the University College of Wales at Aberystwyth (April to June 1969) learning Welsh.
  7. While at school, The King played the piano, trumpet and cello. He continued to play the cello while an undergraduate at Cambridge, performing in a symphony concert by the Trinity College Orchestra on 4th December 1967.
  8. His Majesty obtained his RAF wings as Flight Lieutenant Wales in August 1971.
  9. The King commanded HMS Bronington in 1976, while serving in the Royal Navy.
  10. His Majesty started charity The Prince’s Trust with his Navy severance pay of just over £7000 in 1976. The charity has now supported over one million young people.
  11. His Majesty was the first member of The Royal Family to successfully complete the Parachute Regiment’s training course, before he was appointed Colonel-in-Chief of the Regiment in 1977.
  12. The King, as Prince of Wales, was given the title, ‘Keeper of the Cows’, by the Masai in Tanzania in 2011 to recognise his work as a farmer.
  13. In the Pacific Island of Vanuatu, His Majesty was given the title Mal Menaringmanu (High Chief) in 2018.
  14. The King also had a frog named after him: Hyloscirtus Princecherlesi or Prince Charles Magnificent Tree Frog.
  15. As Prince of Wales, His Majesty became President or Patron of over 800 charities and initiatives in total.
  16. A champion of environmental issues for over 50 years, The King first spoke publicly about his concerns on pollution and plastics and their impact on the natural world in 1970.
  17. At the age of 16 years, The King undertook his first official Royal duty in June 1965, attending a student garden party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
  18. His Majesty is an author. He wrote The Old Man of Lochnagar, based on stories he told his younger brothers growing up. The King has also written books on the natural world and the environment including ‘Harmony’; and ‘Climate Change, a Ladybird Expert Book’.
  19. The King is a keen painter and had a watercolour displayed in the Royal Academy’s 1987 summer exhibition, after it was submitted anonymously.
  20. In 1975, His Majesty became a member of the Magic Circle, a society of stage magicians founded in London in 1905, after passing his audition with a magic trick.
  21. In 1980, The King rode in the Ludlow steeplechase and finished second. His Majesty has been a keen equestrian throughout his life and played polo until 2005.
  22. The King made a cameo appearance on Coronation Street in 2000, and on EastEnders in 2022 in celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee.
  23. His Majesty has presented the weather forecast on the BBC. This took place during a visit to BBC Scotland’s studios in 2012.
  24. The King purchased an Aston Martin DB6 Mark 2 Volante in November 1970, which has since been converted to run on E85 bioethanol made from by-products of the wine and cheese industries. The Prince and Princess of Wales left Buckingham Palace in His Majesty’s Aston Martin following their wedding in April 2011.
  25. The King often carries out tree planting ceremonies during engagements. After planting each tree, His Majesty gives a branch a friendly shake to wish them well.