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12 months of 2021: September

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

Demand for HR professionals exceeds pre-pandemic levels 

Vacancies for HR roles significantly dropped in 2020 just as the first national lockdown began, however demand for people professionals was quick to bounce back.

The short recovery time has reinforced the importance of the profession as businesses looked to HR throughout the pandemic for guidance and support.


Older workers ceasing employment earlier due to COVID

Older workers have been exiting the workforce earlier since March 2020, according to Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) analysis.

Its report focusing on workers over 50 years old found being sick, injured or disabled was the main reason why employees left the workforce, with retirement following closely behind.

In 2020, the average age of exit for men was 65.3 years and women 64.3, decreasing by 0.2 and 0.3 percentage points respectively in 2021.

The employment rate of people aged between 50 and 64 years old has also fallen slightly 72.1% in 2020 to 71.2% in 2021.


HR needs to prepare for winter COVID plan

Following the government’s unveiling of its 2021 autumn and winter plan, employers in England were urged to prepare for a return to restrictions as a worst-case scenario.

Announcing the plans, prime minister Boris Johnson warned that COVID-19 remained a very real threat and detailed two plans for dealing with it this winter.

Under Plan A, the vaccination programme will continue with the rollout of a booster programme and testing, tracing and isolating will also carry on in line with current guidelines. 


The best bits of HR magazine from September 2021:  

Recruiting more people with disabilities won't happen by accident 

What benefits do your employees really care about? 

Stay interviews: how to prevent internal talent from flying the coop