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12 months of 2020: October


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.

Tier system introduced

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announces financial measures to support workers if their business is forced to close due to rising coronavirus cases.

On the 9 October the prime minister also introduced the new three-tier lockdown system in England throwing some areas, like Manchester, into greater financial difficulties - Nicola Sturgeon confirms Scotland will have a five-tier system in place.

The month ends with Johnson’s announcement that the whole of England will enter a full four-week lockdown throughout November in an attempt to bring down the risk before Christmas. The restrictions diverge from the initial lockdown in March. Retail businesses, for example, are allowed to continue operating on a click and collect basis.

Furlough limbo

As the government is due to end the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) on 31 October, businesses start to prepare for bringing employees back from furlough where they can, and redundancy tops the list of concerns for employees.

Government confirms that, when furlough ends, a new Job Support Scheme (JSS) will come into place giving qualifying businesses financial aid in paying their employees’ salaries.

When England enters a second widespread lockdown the CJRS is extended until March 2021, though critics warn it may be too little too late.

The best bits of HR magazine from October 2020:

A clear mind in turbulent times: profile James Glover, HRD Mind

James Glover, HR director of mental health charity Mind, speaks about balancing employee wellbeing with the aims of an organisation dedicated to supporting so many others across the country.

HR case study: a furloughed employee

As part of our cover story for September/October we speak to a furloughed employee about her experience of the past year.

HR must be resilient in the face of a COVID-winter

Our editor’s letter calls on HR to build resilience for the tough season ahead.

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