Weekly Policy Report 17 – 21 April 2023

April has brought with it the start of a new quarter and plenty of showers. Well, they do say the weather reflects the mood, and this week’s events have been a bit up and down. But let’s focus on the policy…

On the market – The ONS released labour market statistics which show the UK’s rates of unemployment, employment, and economic activity. The labour market remains tight, and businesses are still finding it hard to recruit. Here’s our comment.

Deflating? – Inflation dropped slightly to 10.1% in March from 10.4% in February. High inflation continues to be concerning for most of our members, and we therefore feel interest rates need to rise further to really get a grip on the situation. Read our full analysis here.

Catching fire and rehire – We responded to the government’s consultation on the practice of fire and rehire, which is where employees are let go only to be rehired on less favourable terms. The government has drafted a code that seeks to address employer responsibilities in this area. Find our response here.

Fitting the bill – We met up with Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch this week to discuss the much debated Retained EU Law Bill, which is currently making its way through parliament. As we asked a couple of questions on this in this month’s Policy Voice survey, we could pass on exactly what our members are telling us about this. You can feed into the conversation by filling out the survey – look out for your invitation reminder on Monday if you have not yet done so.

On target – The government has published a draft Border Target Operating Model, setting out their approach to importing into GB that will be phased in from October 2023. They have proposed a set of policy initiatives to simplify customs procedures and digitise many of the border processes. We will be contributing feedback to this draft, and you can too here.

Oklahoma! – The UK signed its fourth state by state agreement in the US with Oklahoma. This is a Memorandum of Understanding which particularly focuses on promoting green trade and making it easier for architects to work in the US.

Next week watch out for…

Monday 24 April

  • The IoD is hosting a UK-Japan Symposium celebrating the 150 years of Iwakura Mission. If you are involved in international trade, or wish to be, this is a must attend event! This Japan-UK Symposium is being run by the IoD International Trade Group.

Tuesday 25 April

  • Our Chief Economist is speaking at an event on how businesses are managing UK economic volatility. More details here.

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