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News and analysis HR news briefing mjj 1 Nine-day fortnight offers as an alternative to a four-day week

A viable alternative for more flexibility

2 Can you ask staff to keep working in a heatwave? UK temperatures reach record highs

3 Businesses look to extend HR responsibilities People-related roles in demand

4 Skills shortages leads to increased overworking Existing workers have an added burden

5 Leaders of colour undermined by positive discrimination Black and Asian workers let down by quotas

6 HR July/August 2022

HR Most Influential 2022: top practitioners and thinkers On 30 June, HR magazine unveiled its 2022 HR Most Influential (HRMI) rankings aboard the HMS Belfast.

Now in its 16th year, HR Most Influential, this year in partnership with MHR, acknowledges the practitioners and thinkers who go above and beyond the day job to advance the profession and share best practice with the wider HR community.

Everyone on the shortlist is nominated by their peers, with the final ranking completed by HR magazine and Hult International Business School (Ashridge).

Sharon Benson, interim transformation and people director at Edison Young People, was the number one ranked practitioner for 2022.

Accepting the top spot, Benson congratulated everyone who made it on to the list.

She said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be given the honour of the top place during what continues to be a challenging yet hugely rewarding time for the HR profession.”

Perry Timms, founder of consultancy PTHR, topped the list of HR Most Influential Thinkers for 2022 a er ranking second in 2021.

He said: “I said I’d be very happy to be anywhere on this list because people who we care about nominate us and put us in this position.”

Inducted into the Hall of Fame this year were Harvey Francis, from Skanska; David Frost, from Dole; APS Intelligence founder John Amaechi; Dorchester Collection’s Eugenio Pirri; and Shereen Daniels of HR Rewired. The full list can be found at

Rising Covid infections force HR to prepare In July, the UK was averaging 351,000 daily infections of Covid, the highest recorded since the 350,000 daily infections in March 2022.

Some workplaces, such as Northampton and Kettering General Hospitals in Northamptonshire, have reintroduced mask wearing to stop the spread of infection. Under current government laws, face coverings are no longer required.

Jamie Styles, director of people and culture at Koa Health, said the rise in infections could lead to a larger mental health issue across the country.

He said: “With Covid infection levels on the rise, it’s likely that remote work will increase, with employees opting to work from a remote work environment rather than head into the offi ce.

“The economic and political circumstances combined with rising infection rates will create a unique mental health crisis. The stress, anxiety and depression from Covid-19 are far from behind us.” The emphasis will be on HR to remain in contact with employees if they work remotely more o en, Styles added. “HR should encourage managers to keep in touch with staff and think creatively about the ways they check in with individuals and teams.”

Neil Davidson, regional vice president EMEA and APAC at so ware company Deltek, said companies can build on previous experiences to deal with rising infections. He said: “British businesses have proven resilient and have already undertaken much of the required transformation to place a renewed focus on data and people.”

Data from the Offi ce for National Statistics (ONS) revealed the number of Covid-related deaths in the UK has surpassed 200,000, with a quarter of those occurring since last summer. A

ra p h s: A d o b e t o g l l P h o

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