Now that has been an unexpected year, phew!

Although 2021 started as a year of hope to close the chapter on the pandemic, it turned out to become a year of holding our breath and sitting on a continuous roller coaster of ups and downs for guidelines, mask/vaccination mandates and testing procedures. Now at the start of 2022 we start the year with the same hopes, but it does not seem like this pandemic is going to escape us completely for the new year. Considering this let’s continue to hope for the best and plan for the worst.

In this article I have put together a list of the most common items a business needs to start off the year preparing for, note this is not an all-inclusive list but can take you in the right direction.

Below are some of my best practices:

 Ensure you are paying your employees correctlyYes, you paid everyone a bonus, and everyone is happy but are you paying them the right rate of pay. Many states, such as Florida, had a minimum wage change in 2021, so ensure you are paying everyone the correct rate or pay. Florida new minimum wage is $10.00 per hour effective Sept 30, 2021.Link to DOL Minimum Wage
 Ensure you have your employee’s accurate informationKeeping up with employee’s new address or email might not be your top priority or you might think you captured that information during open enrollment but that might not be the case. Ensure you are reminding employees to update their addresses to receive their W-2’s to the correct addressIRS Employee Information
 Ensure you have captured all income for the W-2 filingThere are times, especially in smaller organizations, where you might have provided an employee a manual check, a gift for the Holidays such as a gift card or other fringe benefits. As a reminder, if you have not already done so, ensure you have captured that as income and allocated the appropriate taxes to that incomeLink to IRS – Fringe Benefits Tax Guide
 Holiday CalendarEnsure you provide your employees with a Holiday calendar that outlines the days they will have off during the year. This allows employees to know in advance, plan their time off accordingly and avoid any misunderstandings later. Be reminded that the number of paid Holidays is determined by the employerLink to OPM Federal Holiday Schedule
 GoalsIn my previous article I discussed techniques on using this time of the year to establish goals with you and your team. The beginning of the year is a great time to distribute goals to ensure alignment and set the expectation for the yearLink to New Year – New Goals article  
 Workplace COVID ProtocolsBecause we know COVID is not escaping us anytime soon, be sure to dust off your current COVID policies and ensure they are still effective. Review CDC guidelines and best practices and continue to evolve your hybrid workplace guidelines. Stay on the lookout for the ETS if you are an employer with 100 employees or more.Link to Center for Disease Control
 BenefitsEnsure you are coordinating with your benefits administrator or broker to capture: the correct amounts for any carryover HSA/FSA amounts information needed for the ACA forms (depending on employee count)Link to IRS Affordable Care Act

Depending in the employee count, location, and business type of your organization there might be additional items you would need to prepare for such as annual industry audits, license renewals, etc. As a reminder this is not an all-inclusive list so, please seek guidance from your local compliance team.

New year here we come!!

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