April saw positive news for HR professionals, a high-profile HMRC court case had major ramifications for freelancers and details about pay for executives during pandemic were revealed.
HR one of the happiest jobs in the UK
Despite the endless trials faced by the profession in the previous two years, Glassdoor rankings showed HR to be one of the happiest and best paid jobs across the UK.
Out of the top five professions on Glassdoor's site, HR roles accounted for two positions. HR manager was rated the second best job with a satisfaction score of 4.4/5, while HR business partner came fourth with a score of 4.3.
HMRC allowed to appeal IR35 case ruling
HMRC pursued radio and TV presenter Kaye Adams for unpaid taxes, arguing that her work for the BBC meant she should be subject to a regular IR35 review despite her being a freelancer.
In HMRC v Atholl House Productions, the Court of Appeal ruled in favour of Adams, who argued working for her own company meant she shouldn't be classed as a BBC employee but a freelancer instead.
The case forced HMRC to update its IR35 guidance and revisit all its existing IR35 litigation against freelancers, with a particular focus on those working in the media.
Executives protected from pay cuts during pandemic
Research from the The Open University, University of Nottingham, Western University and the High Pay Centre showed how much executive pay was affected during the pandemic.
Less than half (48%) of companies cut executive pay between March and May 2020, with the most common action being a 25% to 40% reduction in base salary.
Companies that decided to cut executive pay had an average of 3.5 female directors on the board, whereas firms that took no action over pay cuts had less than 2.5 female directors on their board.