Helen Swire suggests that we learn from 2016 – and put the world's annus horribilis behind us


Whether for celebrity deaths or shock political landslides, many people would agree that 2016 was not exactly a vintage year.

And for the workforce, going out on an Autumn Statement announcing slower-than-hoped economic growth and the demise of many salary sacri­fice bene­fits, it felt like the year ended with a groan rather than a bang.

So what can we be positive about in 2017? Well, the National Living Wage is increasing. And for the ­first time in a while we’re not expecting any further big changes in pensions. Tax-Free Childcare will ­finally be rolled out, with more flexibility than anticipated originally, and the government will be consulting on grandparent leave.

True, many of these things will bring challenges of their own for employers – but at least let’s start the year looking on the bright side.

On a positive note, many employers are now throwing themselves wholeheartedly into making sure their benefits packages are the best they can be for the whole workforce, and taking a holistic view of their employees’ wellbeing.

And our features and events see ever more case studies and examples of best practice to showcase how employers UK-wide are building strategies that really support their staff.

So as we start 2017, let’s feel positive about what’s in store for the workforce – onwards and upwards!