· 1 min read · News

12 months of 2020: January


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.

UK leaves EU and confirms first two cases of coronavirus

After successfully passing through the commons and the House of Lords prime minister Boris Johnson’s EU withdrawal bill receives royal assent. The UK officially leaves the European Union on 31 January, starting a 11-month transition period and remaining in the Single Market and Customs Union.

Towards the end of the month Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the House of Commons that the UK would offer British citizens at the epicentre of the pandemic in Wuhan repatriation, and British Airways suspended all flights from mainland China.

Coronavirus also made its way to the UK, with the first two cases confirmed in England.

Workplace harassment, IR35 and Jack’s Law

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) published new guidance to help employers stamp out sexual harassment in the workplace and businesses are urged to ‘go beyond the rule book’ if it is to be fully eradicated.

Government launched its review of changes to off-payroll working rules (IR35), due to the coronavirus pandemic though the introduction of these changes is delayed until April 2021.

Jack’s Law, which entitles parents two weeks statutory paid leave after the loss of a child under the age of 18, was passed in the UK – officially coming into force on 6 April.

The best bits of HR magazine from January 2020:

Smoothie does it: HR at Innocent Drinks

Group people and culture director Sarah-Jane Norman reveals the ingredients that create a happy and healthy work culture at Innocent Drinks.

Are you tackling modern slavery in your midst?

Nearing the fifth anniversary of the introduction of the Modern Slavery Act, our news analysis looks at how HR departments are making sure their organisations are upholding the law.

The need for HR expertise at start-ups

Unaware of the sheer challenges they would face in 2020, January’s cover story examined the need for people professionals at start-up companies.

If you want to receive breaking news, in-depth analysis and challenging thought leadership from HR magazine in 2021, consider signing up to our ebulletin, subscribing (for free!) to our print editions, or requesting our digital edition