The 12 months of 2017: March

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

Article 50 is triggered

Prime minister Theresa May took the UK's first step in exiting the European Union by signing the letter that will trigger Article 50. As a result, the UK is scheduled to leave on Friday 29 March 2019.

Net migration to the UK fell to a two-year low in the year to September 2016, according to ONS figures, which included the first three months after the Brexit vote. Figures show net migration fell by 49,000 to 273,000, the first time it has dropped to below 300,000 in two years.

Budget 2017

Chancellor Philip Hammond announced the Conservative government’s first 2017 budget, pledging to “build a stronger, fairer, better Britain”.

Hammond said there were record numbers of people, and record numbers of women, in employment. He also said that real wages are forecast to rise despite inflation.

The introduction of ‘T-Levels’ were confirmed for those aged 16 to 19 who plan to go into a technical field. “The next step in raising productivity and living standards in the UK is to focus on quality education and the teaching of technical skills,” Hammond said. “Long ago our competitors, such as Germany and the US, realised that to compete globally a country needs to link technical skills to jobs.”

The best bits of HR magazine in March:

The ethics of gathering employee data

In our March issue cover story, former editor Katie Jacobs asked what is desirable and ethical when it comes to collecting and using employee information in a data-rich world. It’s a question not many seem to have engaged with fully yet, but it’s one HR leaders need to get their heads around sooner rather than later.

A third regret actions after drinking at work

With party season now upon us, many employees feel under pressure to drink when socialising at work. But nearly a third (29%) of employees said they have regretted their actions after drinking at work, according to this research from Canada Life Group Insurance.

Suicide and the workplace: What to do when the worst happens

More than 4,800 suicides were registered in England in 2015: that means someone committed suicide every two hours. It is the biggest cause of death for men under 45 in the UK, and 75% of all suicides in England are male. Given these statistics it’s likely many organisations will experience an employee suicide – do you know how to address this sensitive topic?

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