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Table Of Contents

HR Compliance Checklist: Year-End Transition into 2024

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Table Of Contents

Ah, the end of the year—the time when holiday cheer is in the air, and businesses are gearing up for a fresh start with the coming new year. But before you break out the champagne and party hats, you should prioritize finishing the crucial task that’s on every HR professional’s plate: ensuring that your HR compliance checklist is up to date for a smooth transition into 2024.

Curious to see what we mean? Keep reading to learn more!

What is an HR Year-End Checklist?

A Year-End Checklist is essentially an HR compliance guide for HR teams that leads them through a comprehensive review of their policies, practices, and procedures as they bid farewell to the old year and embrace the challenges and opportunities of the new one. It’s like a thorough spring cleaning for HR, ensuring everything is in order, up to date, and compliant with the latest legal and industry standards.

At its core, this list is a curated list of tasks and reassessments designed to enhance the overall well-being of your company’s workforce while safeguarding it from potential legal pitfalls. It’s important to remember that it is not a one-size-fits-all document—but rather a dynamic and adaptable starting point for HR compliance that allows HR professionals to tailor their approach based on the unique needs and nuances of their organization.

We know what you’re thinking: isn’t this checklist just another formality in the HR compliance battle? Here’s why it’s not just another administrative formality but a strategic and indispensable process for any HR department.

4 Reasons Why An HR Year-End Checklist is Important

It ensures HR compliance

To put it simply, the HR Year-End Checklist is the guardian of HR compliance. Having one ensures that your company’s policies and procedures align with the ever-evolving legal landscape. From labor laws to data protection regulations, the checklist serves as a compass, guiding HR professionals to make necessary updates and adjustments to keep your organization on the right side of the law.

This way, you can stay informed about upcoming changes in legislation, industry trends, and emerging HR best practices

Helps improve workforce management 

As the year draws to a close, having this checklist encourages HR professionals to reflect on their workforce’s performance management processes. This includes performance reviews, feedback mechanisms, and professional development opportunities. It’s not just about ticking off boxes; it’s about fostering a culture of continuous improvement and providing employees with the tools they need to grow and succeed.

Sets the tone for your company culture

Beyond the legalities, an HR Year-End Checklist also dives into the realm of company culture. It helps HR professionals easily assess whether your organization’s values and mission are not just words on a wall but deeply embedded in its daily operations. It’s about ensuring that the workplace is not just compliant but also a space where employees feel valued and connected to a shared purpose.

Can help fine-tune your employee benefits 

The year-end is an ideal time for HR to reevaluate what’s working (and what’s not) for employees.

From healthcare plans to retirement contributions, this reassessment ensures that the benefits offered are not only competitive in the market but also compliant with any changes in regulations. It’s about demonstrating to employees that the company cares about their well-being beyond just the paycheck.

So as the year comes to a close, having a set checklist helps your HR team say, “Check, check, and check!”—knowing they’ve not only met their compliance requirements but also laid the groundwork for a thriving and harmonious workplace.

What to Include In Your HR Year-End Checklist

Conducting performance reviews and getting employee feedback

While it’s a good HR practice to have performance reviews every few months or quarter, the end of the year or (the start of the new one) offers an excellent opportunity for a more thorough review. This is the moment when you can dive deeper into discussions about future growth opportunities and areas where employees can improve.

These conversations not only show who’s ready for more challenges but also set the stage for a stronger team that’s ready for whatever comes their way in the next year. So, take a moment to have these important chats, and you’ll see your team grow and get better. Remember: your goal is not just spotting potential candidates for promotions or extra training; it’s also collecting valuable feedback that can shape your HR policies in the coming year!

Reevaluation of employee benefits

The reassessment of your employee benefits is more than just a routine check. Healthcare, retirement plans, and other benefits can often be considered the crown jewels of your employee compensation package

These benefits are not just add-ons; they are a fundamental part of how you support and value your employees. Therefore, it’s crucial to shine a light on these benefits offerings and make sure they’re aligning with the latest rules and regulations. The end of the year is a great time to make any necessary adjustments and ensure your employees are aware of any changes that might affect their pocketbooks.

Number-crunching your HR budget

In HR, budget planning goes beyond just calculating employee salaries and budgets. 

Think about recruitment costs; we’re not just talking about the hiring process, but also the tools and strategies you use to attract top-notch talent and ensure the continuous growth and success of your team. Then there are the employee engagement programs. Whether it’s team-building events, recognition programs, or wellness initiatives, each of these elements plays a key role in shaping a positive and vibrant workplace culture, and ultimately your HR budget.

From onboarding to continuous professional development, these cost allocations underscore a company’s commitment to having a workforce that’s not only skilled but always evolving. As inflation rates creep up, it becomes increasingly crucial for you to take a meticulous approach to managing your annual HR budget. Every penny counts, and it’s essential to ensure that you’re accounting for every cost that might come your way.

Compliance-check Your policies

It’s safe to say that a year-end HR checklist is essentially all about HR compliance.

A diligent HR compliance check is not just a box to tick; it’s your shield against potential financial penalties and reputational harm. Failing to comply with employment laws can be a costly mistake, and it’s essential to stay ahead of the curve by being up-to-date on the latest compliance requirements, including any new acts or amendments that might have been introduced throughout the year.

Regular audits, training sessions, and staying informed about changes in the legal landscape are all part of this journey. It’s about creating a culture of compliance within your organization, where every team member understands its importance and plays a role in upholding it.

Closing the chapter on special payrolls, including PTO payouts, bonuses, or salary adjustments, is a key year-end task. To maintain HR compliance, it’s crucial to input and process these payments with a check date no later than December 31.

Make sure to collaborate closely with your Finance department to seamlessly integrate these special payrolls into the year-end process. You can also maximize the efficiency of the process by utilizing your HR software for easy and accurate adjustments.

Settle the tab on all things PTO

If your company resets PTO on December 31, make sure employees know about your company’s policy on carrying over unused PTO days and stress the importance of using up these days in a way that makes sense for them.

Here’s a pro tip: instead of doing all this work manually, you can easily automate the process on dedicated leave management tools like Vacation Tracker. By doing so, HR can ensure accuracy in tracking and managing PTO balances, making the entire process streamlined and error-free for all parties involved. 

From creating individual user profiles to easily keep track of each employee’s PTO to automating time-consuming manual tasks like PTO accruals, rollovers, TOIL, and more, Vacation Tracker can be the life jacket you need when you’re drowning in the sea of year-end HR tasks.

Witness the magic yourself by getting a free demo below.

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Finalize the assembly of your HR tech stack

As you’re getting ready to wrap up the year and think about how things went with your HR tasks, it’s a good idea to take a closer look at the software you’re using. Is it doing what you need it to do? Does it work well with everything else? Is it easy for everyone to use?

Q4 presents an ideal window of opportunity for those contemplating an investment in upgrading or finding alternative software in your HR tech stack.

Furthermore, as budgets are being finalized for the upcoming year, allocating funds for a software upgrade becomes a strategic move. Purchasing these tools during Q4 often opens the door to year-end discounts and promotions that software vendors frequently introduce to incentivize decision-making. Hence, upgrading your software now means you kick off the new year with tools that make everything smoother and work better for your team. Plus, you might snag a good deal along the way!

Wrapping it up

As you wrap up your year-end checklist, pat yourself on the back, enjoy that well-deserved cup of hot chocolate, and step into 2024 knowing that your HR team is not just ticking boxes but also simultaneously building the foundation for a successful and compliant new year. 

By successfully navigating the HR compliance maze and emerging on the other side, get ready to take on the new year with confidence and compliance. Remember, staying engaged with your HR duties doesn’t have to be a chore—it can be an opportunity to create a workplace that’s not only compliant but also thriving and innovative!

Snigdha Gupta
Snigdha Gupta

An avid writer and aspiring marketer, Snigdha is a student at Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business.

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