The 12 months of 2017: September

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

McDonald's staff go on strike

About 40 staff working at McDonald’s restaurants in Cambridge and Crayford went on strike in September amid concerns over low wages and the use of zero-hours contracts.

“The strike was related to a number of issues ranging from bullying, harassment including sexual harassment, workers having their hours cut for no reason, breeches of health and safety, for example failure to allow workers to take breaks,” Ian Hodson national president of the Bakers’, Food & Allied Workers Union told HR. “Despite several attempts to use the internal grievance procedure the company in some cases failed to hold meetings or respond when meetings were held.”

Government set to lift cap on public sector pay

The government announced plans to lift the 1% cap on public sector pay rises for the prison sectors and the police in September. The pay freeze was imposed in 2010 by then chancellor George Osborne, and has faced criticism from unions and the Labour party.

However, the TUC said that as the rise is below-inflation, it is actually a pay cut. “This below-inflation pay offer is pathetic,” said TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady. “This isn't a pay rise, it's a pay cut. Public sector workers have suffered seven long years of real pay cuts, and are thousands of pounds worse off.”

Following the announcement regarding police and prison officers' pay, fourteen workers' unions joined forces to call for a 3.9% pay rise for NHS staff.

The best bits of HR magazine in September:

Vocational skills gaps – time for education reform?

Solving the conundrum of how to deliver a skilled, work-ready workforce has largely baffled successive UK governments for many years, despite various attempts at reform. In September’s cover story we look at the technical skills gap. Could changing our education system fill the void?

How long before real estate and HR merge?

Marie Puybaraud, global head of research at JLL Corporate Solutions, shares four reasons why she thinks CRE should work with HR to create a unique workplace experience. Do you agree?

Why PwC decided to report its BAME pay gap

It's a well-known fact that many UK businesses lack diversity at their most senior levels. Lots of conversations have been had about why there aren’t enough women in leadership roles and the barriers they face when trying to climb the corporate ladder – but what about BAME colleagues? PwC decided to be transparent about their BAME gap to drive change.

Businesses failing to prepare for rise of AI

Businesses are failing to prepare for the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace, according to a survey by recruiter Alexander Mann Solutions. The survey of 2,000 senior HR professionals found that just 23% believe that the UK is preparing the next generation of professionals for the rise of AI, despite the fact that 69% believe that it is very or somewhat likely that we will see humanoids (robots that look like humans) in the workplace by 2030.

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