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The 12 months of 2016: August

As our 12 Days of Christmas countdown we look at the most interesting HR happenings over the last year

Sports Direct

In August it was announced that workers at Sports Direct's Derbyshire base will receive back pay of about £1 million for non-payment of the minimum wage. Various investigations found evidence of unpleasant, cruel and dangerous conditions, including staff being fined 15 minutes’ pay for being one minute late, sacked for taking too many sick days, and unpaid security checks at the end of shifts, which resulted in people being forced to arrive early and leave late.

Pregnancy discrimination

There has been a ‘shocking’ increase' in workplace pregnancy discrimination over the past decade, according to a House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee report released in August.

The report demanded that the government makes changes in laws and protections to ensure a safe working environment for new and expectant mothers, to prevent discriminatory redundancies, and to increase protection for pregnant casual, agency and zero-hours workers.

Our pick of August:

Are gig economy workers employees?

The gig economy is rising up the agenda, but do employers understand the legal implications?

Open culture key to transgender inclusivity

The right culture backed up with practical advice is key to creating a transgender-inclusive workplace.

Why apprenticeships are key at Weetabix

Weetabix knows that apprenticeships are a great way to attract skilled young people and benefit businesses too.

Is the Ulrich model still valid?

Dave Ulrich's HR model still divides opinion 20 years after first making its mark.