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12 months of 2019: October

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

Queen’s Speech: Workers' rights, pensions and immigration

At the opening of parliament, the Queen said the government will continue to commit to the proposals set out in the Good Work Plan, based on recommendations from RSA chief executive Matthew Taylor. She added that this would ensure employment keeps pace with “modern ways of working".

The speech also outlined the pensions bill, which will create a legislative framework for pensions dashboards to enable people to access information on their pension pots in one place.

On Brexit and immigration, the government said it remains committed to ensuring EU citizens currently working and living in the UK have the right to remain, having previously pledged to end freedom of movement. The speech provided no further details of what a points-based immigration system would look like.

Royal Mail workers vote for strike action

Royal Mail staff voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action in a dispute over job security and terms and conditions of employment, raising the prospect of the first national postal strike in a decade.

More than 97% of members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) backed a strike, with 76% of its members turning out to vote. The CWU claimed Royal Mail broke the "progressive" agreement on pay, pensions and working hours reached last year. Royal Mail said it is abiding by the agreement and has awarded two pay rises since last year. It said it is “very disappointed” by the CWU's decision to ballot for industrial action.

The best bits of HR magazine in October...

What went wrong at Thomas Cook?

With the shock collapse of British tourism giant Thomas Cook, fingers were pointed at executives and the government. Meanwhile employees abroad went unpaid.

How employers can help with housing

Lack of affordable housing and spiralling rents are affecting multiple generations of workers. Here’s how employers can help.

Centre for Social Justice says state pension age should be raised

A proposal to up the state pension age to 75 has been met with concern by employers and think tanks.

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