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What’s trending?

Virgin Atlantic’s D&I takes off, Twitter undergoes chaotic changes and Royal Mail faces mass redundancy challenge


In this month’s trending topics, we’ve gone in-depth on D&I success at Virgin Atlantic, followed swiftly by a controversial U-turn. In addition, we explored the ins and out of the chaotic takeover of Twitter and the impact on HR. And finally, we consider how the people function at Royal Mail will cope with making thousands of staff redundant.

 
 

Virgin Atlantic job applications soar after gendered uniforms axed

 

Virgin Atlantic job applications soar after gendered uniforms axed

Virgin Atlantic has seen job applications for crew members rise by 100% after it scrapped its gender-based uniform policy, the firm’s CEO has said.

The airline’s CEO Shai Weiss told The Telegraph: “We saw a 100 per cent uplift in applicants following the campaign, ‘See the   world differently’.”

The firm launched its updated gender identity policy in September 2022, giving its crew, pilots and ground team the option to choose which of its iconic uniforms best represents them – no matter their gender, gender identity, or gender   expression.

Reflecting the diversity of the workforce, the airline announced it would offer its people a fluid approach to its Vivienne Westwood-designed red and burgundy uniforms, meaning LGBT+ colleagues could choose either the red or the burgundy uniform, depending on which best reflects   themselves.

 

The announcement was part of an on-going drive to champion the individuality of Virgin Atlantic’s workforce, and the initiative was complemented by the roll out of optional pronoun badges for all its people and those travelling with the airline.

However, the firm has since encountered some turbulence, after it emerged that the uniform policy would be suspended for the airline’s journey to Qatar, where it was flying the England men’s football team for the 2022 World Cup.

Virgin Atlantic claimed the decision was taken due to safety concerns, but the move has come under fire from many within the LGBT+ community and its allies, with some describing it as ‘performative allyship’.

Is it any surprise that Elon Musk is dismantling Twitter's progressive HR?

After months of legal wrangling, Elon Musk was finally handed the keys to Twitter HQ. And in typical cutthroat fashion, he wasted no time in ripping apart the company to remould it in his own image.

 

The billionaire cut around 3,700 Twitter staff, or about half the workforce, as he sought to slash costs and impose a demanding new work ethic. Many staff discovered they’d been let go by trying to log on to work only to find their email accounts had been locked, according to reports.

Musk also axed the social media giant’s rest days and flexible working policies, and later fired an employee who dared to speak out against him online.

However, in a bizarre twist, the company reportedly later asked some severed employees to return to work. Some of those who are being asked to return were laid off by mistake, while others were let go before management realised that their work and experience may be necessary to build the new features Musk envisions, according to sources.

Is it any surprise that Elon Musk is dismantling Twitter's progressive HR?

 

After months of legal wrangling, Elon Musk was finally handed the keys to Twitter HQ. And in typical cutthroat fashion, he wasted no time in ripping apart the company to remould it in his own image.

 

The billionaire cut around 3,700 Twitter staff, or about half the workforce, as he sought to slash costs and impose a demanding new work ethic. Many staff discovered they’d been let go by trying to log on to work only to find their email accounts had been locked, according to reports.

Musk also axed the social media giant’s rest days and flexible working policies, and later fired an employee who dared to speak out against him online.

However, in a bizarre twist, the company reportedly later asked some severed employees to return to work. Some of those who are being asked to return were laid off by mistake, while others were let go before management realised that their work and experience may be necessary to build the new features Musk envisions, according to sources.

 
 

Royal Mail's mass redundancy plan will be a huge test of HR's mettle

 

Royal Mail's mass redundancy plan will be a huge test of HR's mettle

Royal Mail has announced it will be slashing its workforce by around 10,000 in the coming months, blaming recent worker strikes and financial difficulties for its recent poor trading   performance.

The firm said 5000-6,000 of the jobs will be axed via a redundancy process, while the remaining 4,000 will be reduced by not replacing workers who leave the company. The process is expected to be completed by August   2023.

 

The firm cited mounting financial losses and recent strike action by workers as the reasons behind the decision – claims which were met by huge backlash from union   chiefs.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) is fighting tooth and nail to protect the jobs of Royal Mail workers following the firm’s announcement. However, with such huge losses to recoup, bosses at the postal group are unlikely to yield much, if at all. As such, it’s important to start considering how a redundancy process, particularly one of such scale, should be managed. The redundancy process is one that is wrought with stress and anxiety, not just for employees, but also the HR teams overseeing the process. It’s crucial, therefore, that process is handled sensitively   and professionally.

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