12 months of 2021: July

It was another year of turbulence for people professionals. Our 12 Days of Christmas countdown reviews what made the headlines in 2021.

UK government launches National Disability Strategy

Aiming to bridge the gap in education, skills and employment for disabled people, the UK launched its disability strategy. However it was criticised by the Business Disability Forum (BDF) for failing to fully understand the lives of the people it is trying to help.

Speaking to HR magazine at the time, BDF head of policy Angela Matthews urged government to make its strategy more long-term and extend it beyond a year.

She said: “A National Disability Strategy needs to take a whole-life approach to disabled people’s lives.”


Is June Sarpong's BBC salary too much for a three-day week?

BBC diversity champion June Sarpong caused a stir in July after it was revealed she earns a six-figure salary for working just three days each week.

The criticism pulled into focus contrasting attitudes about flexible work, with Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith being one of the most prominent figures railing against her pay.

The same month, Acas published its official flexible work guidance aiming to help encourage employers to adopt other flexible arrangements outside of just hybrid or remote working.


More employers to offer 'burnout weeks'

Criticised by some as simply a PR stunt, this month also saw a peak in the number of employers following the trend for offering staff so-called ‘burnout weeks’ to alleviate the mental and physical toll of the pandemic.

The move added to growing discourse around ensuring UK workers had the right to disconnect, as seen in other parts of Europe.


The best bits of HR magazine from July 2021: 

Putting people on the analytics map

Is an out of hours ban a step back in time?

Why we need to stop calling it HR