Eloise’s May 2023 News – Recruitment Market, Workplace Stress, Burnout, Solar Panels

Workplace Stress Vanilla Consulting

Hello and welcome to May 2023

I’ve optimistically welcomed in spring a few times now, so I’m not going to do that again this month in the hope that I stop jinxing it from showing its face fully.

This year May is all about the King’s Coronation, the triad of bank holidays, and more strikes. May is usually one of our longer working months, even with its typical two bank holiday Mondays. But this May we have three 4-day weeks.

In my younger days, I loved a 3-day weekend. But now, running a business, I don’t always feel the same way. Shorter weeks can feel like less of a chance to have productive business weeks. This sparked a little bit of research into the impact of bank holidays on SME businesses, and the results were mixed…

Bank holidays can give a much-needed boost to sectors like tourism, hospitality, and retail. But it can also cause productivity dips for sectors like manufacturing etc. However, everything circles back to wellbeing, workplace stress and the positive mental health-boosting effects that having an extra day off work can give to employees.

This, coupled with the outcomes of businesses moving to 4-day weeks and finding that they hit the same productivity goals and have happier employees, makes me focus more on the benefits.

How do you find bank holidays impact your business?

The recruitment market

There were some positives in candidate availability in the latest KPMG and REC Report on Jobs. This is the first time in over two years that candidate availability has shown improvement. This is down to two factors, people having more confidence in the market and in moving jobs, and the rise in redundancies.

There was a very slight dip in the number of new jobs being advertised. And there was a six-month high in the number of temporary jobs being filled.

Starting salaries have continued to rise, as have hourly temp rates. The average weekly wage is also up by 5.7% on last year.

A big takeaway statement from the report is “The jobs market remains resilient as economic confidence rebounds.”

The REC’s latest ‘JobsOutlook’ report found that ‘between December 2022 and February 2023, business confidence in the UK economy continued to grow – rising by 13% on the quarter. Employers’ confidence in making hiring and investment decisions saw even more substantial growth of 16% on the quarter.’.

This is fantastic news for everyone. And the looming recession that was predicted looks like it will be swerved, and the Bank of England even predicts the economy will grow marginally in this second quarter of the year.

Strike action

Are your employees impacted by the current strike action?

Here are the dates in May to look out for:

  • May 2nd – NEU teacher strikes.
  • Until 5th May – Passport Office strikes.
  • 5th May – BBC Local Network journalists strikes.
  • 6th May – Parking warden strikes.
  • 4-6 & 9/10 & 25-27 May – Heathrow security officer strikes.
  • May 12, May 31 – Train driver strikes.

Managing workplace stress

Acas, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, has just launched some new advice for employers about how to manage workplace stress. This is off the back of a new report that found a third of British workers (33%) surveyed ‘believe their organisation is not effective at managing work-related stress’.

It can be critical to know the difference between burnout / anxiety / depression / stress. As each will have different treatment paths and require a different approach.

You can read their advice and view their resources here.


This leads nicely onto a related article I was reading just the other day from HR News about ‘burnout’.

It’s been reported that 43% of workers say they feel close to burnout. But what is it and how can employers help employees avoid burnout?

Kayleigh, Head of Clinical at Health Assured, explains burnout as being “the culmination of chronic, long-term stress, the point at which ultimately, we have no energy left to give. Our mental, emotional, and psychological resources are all dried up, and feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and isolation ensue.”

Burnout can leave people needing to take weeks away from their workplace to recuperate and recover. Sometimes it can also lead to ‘workplace PTSD’, which usually results in a person not being able to return to the same business.

It is usually better to help and retain the employees you have through good well-being practices than it is to recruit new team members. Using the advice from ACAS (above) and some of the advice in this article, you might be able to help someone, or yourself, avoid falling into burnout.


World Earth Day

The 22nd of April was World Earth Day and we’re delighted to be doing our bit to help the planet with our office renovations…

We have installed solar panels on the roof – if you live locally to us in Market Harborough you might have seen our scaffolding up.

We’ve also installed an electric car charger in the car park, changed all our lights to be on movement sensors, and installed electric radiators on the ground floor. All of this is part of our commitment to working towards Vanilla being a more sustainable and green business.

Building work

In terms of our wider renovation work, we hope everything will be finished and ready for us to move from our current 1stfloor office to the newly reconfigured and renovated ground floor offices over the coming weeks. The next stage is the final painting and decorating, the flooring going down and the plumbing for the new kitchen and toilets.

It’s really exciting seeing everything coming together.

And that’s it for another month

I hope you have a great May and can enjoy the extra bank holidays and fingers crossed we’ll see some regular sun soon!


Our temps do an amazing job for a wide range of clients in the area. They are some of the most flexible and hardworking people and we want to recognise that every month.

So, if you have a Vanilla temporary worker on assignment, or who has just completed an assignment, who you think has gone above and beyond or exceeded expectations in any way. You can nominate them to receive our Temp of the Month Award.

We recruit throughout the East Midlands covering Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Rutland and the surrounding areas, especially Market Harborough, Lutterworth, Leicester, Corby and Kettering. We help people find their perfect job and match suitable jobseekers with businesses looking to hire the best candidates across our five specialisms – SalesMarketingAccountancy & FinanceHR and Office

Gain a new skill and a verifiable qualification

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Workplace Stress and Wellness – contact Vanilla Temp Agency Market Harborough for more information.