Goodbye 2020, hello 2021

And what a year it has been. HR professionals may not be the most obvious front-line workers to appreciate during a pandemic but we know the demands that 2020 has placed on their adaptability, resilience and innovation skills.

But as we wave goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021, what do our HR professionals have to focus on over the next 12 months?

Well, on New Year’s Eve we won’t just be counting down to midnight this year, 11pm is an important deadline in Brexit terms and marks the start of changes to workforce planning, recruitment and right to work checks as we move to summer 2021. 

Keeping up to speed with the moving landscape and ensuring that your practices don’t create unexpected discrimination risks should be high on the agenda.

Further, in April 2021 there’s the delayed implementation of the IR35 off payroll working rules that companies will want to ensure that they have got to grips with to avoid having liability for tax and national insurance contributions (and worse) on gross earnings paid to intermediaries via consultancy style arrangements. 

Considering whether to employ consultants directly, make PAYE deductions at source or otherwise satisfying themselves that such arrangements fall outside of IR35 should be an exercise which is already underway.

Keeping up to speed with the moving landscape should be high on the agenda

On a more positive note, 2021 has scope to build on the positives that have resulted from working in a crisis. Greater flexibility, more home working, improvements in IT functions, stronger internal and external relationships and rethinking the way we operate. However realistically we know that it may mean that businesses are tasked with cost-cutting, redundancy exercises, adjusting to the end of the Job Retention Scheme on 31 March 2021 and uncertainty regarding the postponed Job Support Scheme.

Coming out of 2020, employee engagement and health and wellbeing are bound to be high on the priority list throughout 2021, as will getting back on track with training and development and addressing underlying employee relations issues which have, perhaps necessarily, gone on the back burner. 

There may be no Christmas parties this year and less of the conduct issues which can result but will the ‘new normal’ prompt the need for new rules about workplace behaviours such that coughing without use of the crook of an arm could now legitimately be a disciplinary offence?

Here at CG Professional we support businesses with all of their people needs and are launching a webinar series to engage in these and other hot topics for the upcoming calendar year. Look out for further details or contact a member of our team for further information and advice.

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