12 months of 2020: February

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​In a year that has catapulted people professionals to the top of every agenda, our 12 Days of Christmas countdown reviews what made the headlines in 2020.

Government HR queries, HS2 go ahead and first COVID death

Philip Rutnam, former permanent secretary at the Home Office, resigns and announces plans to claim unfair dismissal based on alleged bullying behaviour from the home secretary Priti Patel.

Following Dominic Cummings’ treatment of special advisers (spads), in particular his involvement in the dismissal of Sajid Javid’s aide, the cabinet office launched an advert seeking a HR policy lead.

Plans to expand Bristol and Heathrow airports are rejected on the grounds that they would exacerbate climate change, and prime minister Boris Johnson gives the go ahead for the controversial High Speed 2 (HS2) rail connection initially planned between London and cities in the north of England.

On the 28 February, the UK confirms the country’s first coronavirus related death.


Diversity steps up the agenda

The second edition of The Parker Review was published showing that 37% of FTSE 100 companies are off track to fulfil the ‘one by 2021’ challenge set by the committee in 2017 requiring businesses to have at least one director of colour on their boards.

Overall the report called for action not words when it comes to businesses tackling diversity, including a renewed call for organisations to collect appropriate data on their employees.

Setting a precedent for other women in media, Samira Ahmed also won her equal pay tribunal against the BBC.


The best bits of HR magazine from February 2020:

Is HR a hypocrite when it comes to D&I?

Dominated by straight, white, females we examined D&I within the people profession on the whole.

HR's role in strategic succession planning

With more pressure placed on how organisations are governed and led, this month’s cover story discussed the need for HR in cultivating businesses’ CEO pipeline.

The HR challenges of combining three brands into one

Kate Guthrie, group human resources director at Virgin Money UK, looks back on her career and discusses the challenges of merging multiple company cultures.


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