· News

What HR wants from the next prime minister

As the race for the UK's next Conservative leader comes down to two candidates, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, HR leaders consider what they would like to be a priority for the next prime minister.

With the continued fallout of Brexit, rising energy prices and an unprecedented cost of living crisis, the new leader will have a big job on their hands.

HR Most Influential thinker Paul Beesley, director and consultant at Beyond Training, said above all the next government should prioritise building a fairer society.

He told HR magazine: "Since the turn of the millennium I have been seriously disappointed by self-serving leadership that has created more division than equality in all aspects of society.

"In many cases, businesses have taken the lead where successive governments have failed so miserably. Serve our people instead of yourselves. Many business leaders that I have the privilege to work alongside, are showing you how this is done."

HR and number 10:

Sue Gray report uncovers insidious effect of work drinking cultures

Boris Johnson's ‘roadmap’ leaves HR in the lurch

What to do when leadership fails

As fears loom of recession, 2022 Hall of Fame inductee Perry Timms, founder and chief energy officer of PTHR, said supporting people during the financial crisis should be top of the agenda.

Speaking to HR magazine, he said: "Before we go cutting taxes, let's look at wealth distribution. 

"Millionaires and billionaires won't feel the pinch of an extra few percent on their taxes, so it's about time they did more to allow for appropriate investment in public services, infrastructure, education and learning schemes for people displaced from their work and social mobility agendas to give people a better chance of finding gainful employment in good work circumstances." 

In May, the UK hit 1.3 million job vacancies while unemployment rates have reached all time lows of 3.7%. 

HRMI 2022 thinker Duncan Brown, visiting professor and associate at the Institute for Employment Studies (IES), said inclusivity needs to be accounted for when tackling skills shortages, and the proposed redraft of the UK's Employment Bill, would also be welcome.

He told HR magazine: "There are more vacancies than unemployed people. But there are record numbers of long-term sick.

"There are significant numbers of over-50s who have fallen out of the workforce since Covid have not come back. They at the moment get no job support because they're not unemployed. So it might be good to direct some support to those groups."