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12 months of 2022: January

As we reach the end of the year, our 12 Days of Christmas countdown revisits each month's most notable happenings

Looking back on January 2022, we see how HR grappled with the challenges of the unvaccinated workers and a post-pandemic return of strike action. Glassdoor also announced its top 50 UK employers and teams prepared for digital right to work checks. 

What Covid means for unvaccinated workers

Coming out of a winter lockdown at the end of 2021, HR teams were tasked with what to do with unvaccinated members of the workforce. 

Office for National Statistics (ONS) data at the time estimated 5.1 million people in the UK had not yet been vaccinated, creating another headache in navigating workers returning to the office.

Vaccinations were only mandatory for care workers, allowing the vast majority of employees the opportunity to opt out for ethical reasons.

In June 2022, long Covid was officially recognised as a disability after Scottish worker Terrance Burke won an unfair dismissal tribunal regarding the condition.


Glassdoor's UK top 50 employers revealed

On 12 January, job site Glassdoor revealed its Employees' Choice Awards listing the top 50 employers based on anonymous reviews from employees.

Software developer ServiceNow took the top spot, scoring 4.6/5. The newcomer knocked previous incumbent Salesforce off of the top of the list, relegating it to number three. 

AND Digital (second), Immediate Media (fourth) and Abcam (fifth) completed the top five. 


Strikes return after pandemic reprieve

Setting the tone for year, the first major strike action of the year took place in January after taking a pandemic-induced hiatus.

Transport for London (TFL) Night Tube workers would stage a 24-hour walkout on 20 January, logistics company Wincanton had 500 employees on strike over low pay, while staff from ground handling and refuelling company Menzies  balloted for strike action over plans for a pay freeze.


Digital right to work checks to be introduced from April

The government announced firm plans to introduce digital right to work (RTW) checks in April after a successful trial during the pandemic.

The new system would allow people to remotely upload copies of personal documents rather than having to have them verified in person.

Third-party service providers were also able apply for government certification of their digital RTW technology, giving employers more options for sourcing checks.

The new legislation came into effect in October 2022, with the the Post Office and identity verification platform Yoti as the first certified digital identity service providers.


The best bits of HR magazine from January 2022:

Great Resignation vs staff shortages: HR tackles the UK's talent paradox

Are quotas really the answer for DE&I?

Recruitment in the metaverse: will it become a (virtual) reality?