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12 months of 2021: February

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In the second month of 2021, things became no calmer for the HR world, as the post-Christmas COVID spike continued. Our 12 Days of Christmas countdown reviews what made the headlines in 2021.

Legalising ‘no jab, no job’

Concern arose in the HR world over the difficulty of imposing ‘no jab, no job’ rules on employees in February, as justice secretary Robert Buckland told employers that it may be legal to insist new staff be vaccinated as part of their contract.

The policy, now in place for care homes, has led to serious fears over staffing in the sector, at a time when it was already stretched.

From spring 2022, vaccination will be mandatory for all health and social care workers.

The CIPD this month published guidance on the legal risks of imposing such a policy.

 

The prime minister’s roadmap led to confusion

Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of the third lockdown, published on the 22nd of February, left HR teams with more questions than answers.

A lack of clarity on when employees were expected back in the office particularly baffled HR managers – especially those who had hoped for an end to remote working.

HR was therefore left to make its own guidance for when the nation finally fully left lockdown on June’s ‘Freedom day.’

 

Employment law: 2021’s principal changes

This year was a busy one for employment law, and already in February employers were seeking out guidance on the expected (and already completed) changes in the law.

European Economic Area nationals no longer had the right to live and work in the UK, which has since had a real impact on the UK’s ability to find key workers.

The Public Interest Disclosure (Protection) Bill 2019-21 came before a second reading in the House of Commons, which it passed. It now rests before the Committee. The bill is intended to increase protection for whistleblowers.

 

The best bits from HR Magazine from January 2020: 

Employers failing to tackle age bias in recruitment

Working parents lying over home-schooling

Fire and rehire tactics surge during COVID-19