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12 months of 2023: January

As we reach the end of the year, our 12 Days of Christmas countdown rounds up each month's key events.

At the beginning of 2023, the government announced a controversial anti-strike measure, a consultation into holiday pay was launched, and the cost of living crisis pushed more over 60s back to work.


Safe minimum service levels to be set in anti-strike bill

Business secretary Grant Shapps confirmed that legislation to ensure minimum safety levels in health, education, fire, ambulance, rail and nuclear power sectors will be introduced in the coming weeks as parliament resumes.

The government is set to consult on the adequate level of coverage that will be needed in fire, ambulance and rail services.

The bill was met with strong union opposition.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) General secretary Paul Nowak called the announcement “an attack on the right to strike to defend workers’ pay and conditions".


Consultation on holiday pay for temp, part-time and zero-hours workers launched

The UK government has launched a consultation into how holiday pay is calculated for temporary, part-time and zero-hours workers.

The consultation comes on the back of a judgement in July 2022, which ruled the part-time music teacher Ms Brazel must have her holiday pay calculated on the same basis as a full-time employee.

It concluded the correct interpretation of the Working Time Regulations 1998 was that holiday entitlement for part-year workers should not be pro-rated, and should be proportionate to the amount of work actually performed each year.

This has led to confusion about how holiday pay should be calculated, with the consultation aiming to make sure that holiday pay and entitlement is proportional to time spent working.


Surge in over-60s candidates as cost of living bites

The number of over-60s registering as job candidates surged, according to data from recruiter Randstad UK.

The recruitment agency said the number of candidates over the age of 60 applying to the agency had risen by 160% of its long-term annual average.

Victoria Short, chief executive of Randstad UK, put the rise down to soaring living costs.

Speaking to HR magazine, she said: “The cost of living crisis is hitting people's back-pockets as is inflation. Many early retirees thought they could afford an early retirement a couple of years ago. Not any more. 

“Not only has the novelty of early retirement worn off but now that house prices have started dropping, many are being scared back into work.”


Best of HR magazine from January 2023: