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The 12 months of 2018: December


It's been an eventful year for HR-related issues hitting the headlines. Our 12 Days of Christmas countdown revisits each month's most notable happenings

Ted Baker launches a petition over 'forced hugging'

Staff at fashion group Ted Baker alleged that there is a culture of 'forced hugging' instigated by the firm's founder and boss. A petition, launched by an employee, also accuses 62-year-old Ray Kelvin of inappropriate comments and behaviour. 'It is part of a culture that leaves harassment unchallenged,' they claim.

Ted Baker said that the matters raised in the petition were 'at odds with the values of our business and those of our CEO'. It said it would 'ensure a thorough independent investigation is carried out' into the allegations. Another complaint made in the petition was that previous complaints have been ignored.

May announces Brexit vote will be held in January

Speaking in the Commons, May announced the do-or-die date for her EU withdrawal agreement, having cancelled her original vote in the face of a predicted huge defeat by her own party.

The announcement was met with anger by many MPs, who believe pushing the vote into the new year will leave them with the choice of May's plan or no deal. Some believed negotiations should be reopened with the EU, but May repeated that her agreement was the only deal.

The news came as it was revealed that hiring managers had been hit by uncertainty over hiring decisions due to Brexit. This month also saw the publication of a long-delayed whitepaper on Britain’s tough new immigration regime. The proposed system will bring both EU migrants and those from the rest of the world under the same visa regime, starting in 2021. The £30,000-a-year minimum salary threshold that is already imposed on non-EU workers will also apply to migrants from the EU27, though the government said it would consult on this.

The best bits of HR magazine in December...

Is HR neglecting its own mental health?

Mental health's firmly on employers' agendas, but what are HR doing to protect their own wellbeing?

HR takes centre stage at the Royal Shakespeare Company

HRD Jo Pitman wants HR to take the lead role in helping to makes its workforce as diverse as its performances.

Sexual harassment in the technology sector

Technology giants have been accused of creating cultures which ignore or perpetuate sexual harassment and gender discrimination.