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The 12 months of 2017: July

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

Equal pensions rights for gay couples

In July the Supreme Court ruled that gay people should have the same rights as heterosexual couples when it comes to pension rights. John Walker, 65, argued that his husband should be entitled on his death to a spouse’s pension, provided they stay married. The court unanimously agreed.

Trump attempts to ban transgender troops

In a series of tweets, US president Donald Trump announced that transgender military personnel would no longer be allowed to serve in “any capacity in the US military.” He immediately faced an angry response from the public and military, and was ultimately blocked by district judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly who described the president's directives as "not genuinely based on legitimate concerns regarding military effectiveness or budget constraints, but instead driven by a desire to express disapproval of transgender people generally".

The best bits of HR magazine in July:

The rise of the cross-sector HRD

Moving between the public, private and third sector can be hugely rewarding both professionally and personally, says editor Jenny Roper in July’s cover story, However, there are still marked differences between sectors that anyone wanting to make a switch needs to be mindful of.

Employees unaware of unpaid parental leave

Did you know that unpaid parental leave is available to staff with a year or more's tenure, in addition to annual holiday allowance? Working parents could be spending up to £1,800 a year unnecessarily on childcare as 41% are unaware of their legal rights.

Political uncertainty means HR issues hang in the balance

in our July magazine news analysis we explored the effects the minority government could have on Brexit talks, workers' rights and immigration issues. Norman Pickavance, senior adviser for Blueprint for Better Business, said he was concerned that the government’s preoccupation with preparing for Brexit talks would detract focus from workers’ rights. “We still need a highly flexible UK jobs market but have to accept that it’s not functioning optimally for all workers,” he said.

The BBC pay report: You are now entering an era of transparency

Pay and benefits have historically been regarded as a private matter between individuals and their employers. But this could be coming to an end. The publication of the BBC's pay report may be a milestone on the way to greater pay transparency generally.