12 months of 2019: June

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It's been an eventful year for HR-related issues hitting the headlines. Our 12 Days of Christmas countdown revisits each month's most notable happenings

MPs renew calls for gagging clause ban

A report from the Women and Equalities Committee (WEC) found that difficulties in pursuing claims through employment tribunals meant staff often felt they had little choice but to reach a confidential settlement prohibiting them from speaking out against wrongdoing in the workplace. More than 90 people wrote to the committee sharing their experiences.

The committee said that any use of confidentiality clauses needs to be clear and specific in scope and that employers should be made to investigate all harassment allegations properly regardless of whether a settlement is reached.

Maria Miller, chair of the WEC, called on the government to clarify the rules on whistleblowing and tackle the financial barriers employees face when trying to take cases to employment tribunals.

NHS Interim People Plan published

The NHS published its Interim People Plan, laying out plans for the future of its workforce.

The proposals – developed by the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Nursing, NHS managers and staff unions – included a new leadership development framework, improved flexible working options, and more flexibility on how pension contributions are accrued.

The plans acknowledged that health workers want more flexible careers and better work/life balance, as well as more efficient ways of working to meet the growing demands on the sector.

Experts broadly welcomed the move but said that more investment would be required.

The best bits of HR magazine in June...

Has Brexit led to a parliament pressure cooker?

MPs and civil servants are under increasing strain to deliver an as-yet unclear Brexit plan.

Is engagement fact or fiction?

Few seem able to agree on what engagement is or how to measure it. Some argue that it never existed at all and was nothing more than the latest fad.

De-biasing language in job adverts

The wording in job adverts can discourage certain segments of the population, but here's how to de-bias them.

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