UK employers are facing significant challenges when it comes to both recruiting and retaining manual and elementary service workers – a new study has revealed.

The report, developed by workforce management expert Quinyx found that nearly half (49%) of UK employers struggle to recruit these workers, with the same percentage reporting challenges around retention. Issues with recruitment and retention were discovered to be most acute in industries such as hospitality, catering & leisure and retail. In addition, larger businesses (those with a workforce of 250 to 500) are more likely to face challenges compared to smaller-sized businesses.

The UK’s construction industry is healthy and growing with continued housing demands; especially in highly populated areas. To meet this need and help people get on the property ladder, the British Government has set lofty ambitions of delivering an average of 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s.

There’s also demand for new office and commercial spaces and many large infrastructure projects, like Hinkley Point C and High Speed 2, are already in the works. Just last year, in 2017, the government released a report which revealed a healthy construction pipeline and forecasted that over the next ten years, public and private investors intend to fund £600bn in infrastructure projects.



The UK construction sector is one of the country's leading economic drivers, however a perceived shortage of skilled professionals is becoming a challenge for a field that relies on its workforce more than most.

Although the construction industry looks to be on solid ground, the foundations are slowly eroding away and employers fear that there aren't enough bricklayers, plumbers and project managers coming through to repair them.

In a report by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), the skill shortage in construction and engineering was described as 'critical'. Although the number of job opportunities are rising, the number of suitable candidates isn't and the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) estimates that more than 36,000 new workers a year will be needed to cover current demand. This is easier said than done though, as more than half of employers are finding it difficult to fill skilled vacancies.



According to Quinyx’s research, business leaders working in organisations with a blue-collar workforce predict that they will lose 18% of that workforce as a result of Brexit, with over a fifth (22%) saying they expect to lose 31% or more. Particularly vulnerable to fluctuations in the workforce are logistics and healthcare businesses.

Looking further ahead, many businesses are wary about talent pipelines post-Brexit. Nearly half (49%) of employers said that they expect Brexit to have a negative impact on their future recruitment of manual and elementary service workers – with 15% expecting it to be severe.

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If you have got an attractive job offer and considering relocating to the Netherlands here are some essential information for you that will help you to understand Dutch salary and taxation system, working environment and rules.

We have ongoing vacancies in the Netherlands for IT & Telecom Engineers, as well as Civil Engineers and Automotive Engineers for Non-EU Nationals. We will support you throughout the entire process from initial interview to signing the employment contract, processing visa application and relocation.

Work Permit

Every non-EU citizen who wants to work in the Netherlands has to obtain a valid work permit. Either the employee or their prospective employer may request the permit, although it is usually the employer who makes the request.

A work permit is valid only for the employer who makes the request and ceases if / when the employee leaves the job. There is no general work permit for the Netherlands.

Inter-Consulting work with a Local company in the Netherlands that will become an employer of a consultant and will arrange a work permit for the person. The consultant will be working on-site at a client while getting paid by the employer. These requirements are essential for the arrangement of Work Permit.

Wage Tax in the Netherlands - 30% Ruling

If an employee is recruited from abroad to work in the Netherlands, with a specific expertise that is scarce or absent in the job market in the Netherlands, he or she may be entitled to the 30% tax ruling. The ruling reduces the gross salary (the basis for wage tax and social security) to 70% on top of which a tax-free remuneration of 30% is paid via the payroll as a tax-free allowance intended to cover the higher expenses incurred by living in the Netherlands.

Both employee and employer must jointly request the application of the 30% rule from Dutch tax office. The employee will have to have significant and relevant work experience (considered scarce in the Netherlands), have higher education, be hired from abroad <150 km from the Dutch border and earn a salary of at least €38.347 waged tax per annum. The 30% ruling is generally limited to a five-year period.

Employees who plan to remain in the Netherlands long term and who are paying into the Dutch social security system should be advised that all the rights based on the gross salary such as pension and social security will decrease accordingly and be based on the 70% taxable portion.

The 30% allowance will have an impact in the tax-free reimbursement of extra territorial expenses and school fees as these are deemed to be included. For more information on the 30% ruling, please contact activpayroll.

To find out how much Tax you should pay in Netherlands you can check this calculator.

Working hours

A standard Dutch working week is 38 hours. The majority of fulltime (voltijd) jobs in the Netherlands are between 36-40 hours a week, or seven to eight hours a day, five days a week.

Some companies have a 40 hour working week instead of the standard 38 hours, in which case employees receive more salary for more hours worked.

Another way employers may compensate higher weekly hours is by increasing annual holiday leave (sometimes to around 12 additional days).

In the Netherlands lunch breaks are usually 30 minutes, unpaid.

Holiday leave in the Netherlands

Full-time employees in the Netherlands are legally entitled to a minimum of 20 days (four weeks) of paid holiday leave per year. This is based on a calculation of four times the number of hours worked per week.

Sick leave in the Netherlands

If you are working in the Netherlands and you fall ill on a working day then you must report it to your employer so you can claim sick leave.

Most companies have a formal process for reporting when you are sick which involves calling, messaging or emailing your manager and someone from the HR (P&O) department.

If you are sick during your holiday, and you directly inform your employer, it is possible to have those days counted as (paid) sick leave instead of holiday leave.

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First Floor, 239 High Street Kensington, W8 6SN, London

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