· 1 min read · News

12 months of 2020: April


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.

The cost of COVID-19

The Resolution Foundation releases estimates that more than nine million workers will be furloughed under the CJRS at a cost of between £30 and £40 billion, As of the latest figures (published 15 November) 9.6 million jobs had been put on furlough by 1.2 million employers in the UK, racking up a subtotal of £43 billion.

The Office for National Statistics reports that the number of deaths in England and Wales has risen to its highest in 20 years, with one in three being linked to COVID-19.

War veteran Tom Moore wins the hearts of the nation, raising an initial £13 million for NHS charities through a sponsored walk of laps in his garden.

The prime minister rounds off the month announcing that the UK is “past the peak” of coronavirus and confirms the government’s intention to set out a plan to restart the economy following widespread closures of non-essential businesses.

HR responds to the pandemic

After a challenging month in lockdown, we hear about the ways in which HR professionals responded to help support businesses and their people at this critical time.

Support by people teams ranged from enhancing leadership visibility, through boosted wellbeing funding to more engagement from employers in their surrounding communities.

HR is also urged to consider the impact pandemic restrictions may have on younger members of staff, and other groups already at a disadvantage in society.

The best bits of HR magazine from April 2020:

Hot topic: Businesses using spyware to monitor productivity

Attitudes about companies using spyware to monitor employee output come to a head after the launch and subsequent removal of such a program at Barclays, setting the tone for many discussions about productivity in the year to come.

Is HS2 on the right track for the UK job market?

We ask what the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail development, which has continued construction throughout the pandemic, could mean for the UK job market if all goes as planned.

A toast to the most convivial at Pernod Ricard

Editor Jo Gallacher visits Pernod Ricard in Paris to speak with HR director Cedric Ramat about the way his team keeps engagement bubbling at the stalwart drinks brand.

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