12 months of 2020: July


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.

Restarting the economy

A major easing of lockdown regulations in England are rolled out throughout the month allowing entertainment venues, including cinemas, pubs and restaurants, and eventually gyms and leisure centres to reopen with social distancing measures.

In the chancellor’s summer economic update, the Treasury unveils a £30 billion spending package to help struggling industries and young people who have been worst affected by job cuts.

Measures include the Eat Out to Help Out scheme which incentivised customers to go to restaurants and pubs on weekdays for a meal at a reduced fee; a temporary VAT reduction for the hospitality sector; a £1,000 award for employers for each member of staff retaining their job following furlough; and the Kickstart Scheme aimed at creating more pathways into work for 16-24 year olds.

Setting new targets

The 30% Club expanded its diversity targets for FTSE 350 companies to a “beyond 30%” target for the representation of women on boards, executive committees, and chairs. It is also announced it would be advocating for half of those places to go to women of colour by 2023.

The government announced it would be creating an “Office for Talent” to encourage scientists and researchers to come and work or study in the UK following the implementation of new immigration rules.

And HR leaders predicted it would be at least July 2021 before businesses could recover from the impact of the pandemic.

The best bits of HR magazine from July 2020:

Hot topic: Pandemic interventions for employers from the UK government

We ask the HR community to weigh-in on the aid government has offered to businesses so far.

Pushing for progress: the workplace's role in political and social movements

Our cover story this month asks what benefits and pitfalls HR can expect as employees call on their employers to take a stance on social and political movements.

Alastair Campbell: the importance of mental health during the coronavirus pandemic

Our interview with Alastair Campbell provides a frank and open discussion about mental health challenges exacerbated by the pandemic.

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