The end of the year has many HR and tax related responsibilities. To wrap up 2018 and prepare for 2019, you’ll need to complete these tasks. Keep in mind that some states have additional requirements.

Consult with your payroll system for payroll tasks

You’ll need to determine who files the taxes and the due dates, verify earnings and deductions, process bonus payrolls, review tax forms, report fringe benefits (if applicable), review third party sick pay information (if applicable), verify company information (including tax IDs and email addresses?), stop retirement plan catch-up contributions (if applicable), and order W-2 and 1099-MISC forms.

Comply with overtime rules

This entails confirming independent contractor classifications.

Prepare for Affordable Care Act reporting (if applicable)

The ACA requires insurers, small employers with self-insured health plans, and employers with 50 or more full-time and full-time equivalent employees to report specific health coverage information to the IRS and provide full-time employees and individuals with an annual statement. Determine whether you are required to report in 2019 (for the 2018 calendar year) by looking at your employee count in 2018 and the type of health plan you have. The following link will assist you in determining your reporting needs:

Flexible Spending Accounts

Do not let your employees forfeit their FSA dollars. Employers may now change their Section 125 cafeteria plan document to allow for an option on health (only) benefits. Employees may rollover up to $500 into the next plan year or be granted a two-and-a-half-month grace period or extension (either/or – not both), provided the plan (or third-party administrator) allows. Now’s the time to determine who’s rolling over and who’s using the grace period.

Crunch Some Numbers

se your HR software to gather some data: retention/turnover rates, training costs and other reports that you can generate. They can help you not only plan for what’s coming but give you an opportunity to head it off at the pass.

Update required posters‍

Workplace posters may change to reflect new laws, regulations or new contact information for a government agency. Additionally, many states and local jurisdictions have new minimum wage rates for 2019.

Update state and federal forms‍

State and federal forms change from year to year, for example the IRS typically updates its W-4 form annually.

Distribute annual notices‍

Certain states require that employers provide annual notices to their employees. For example: California, Illinois, New Jersey and Texas, require that employers distribute a notice concerning the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) on an annual basis.

Maintain OSHA logs‍

Certain employers are required to keep records of work-related injuries and illnesses and post Form 300A in the workplace every year from February 1st to April 30th. Here is a link to determine who must file:

Carryover vacation, if required‍

Several state and local jurisdictions require vacation and certain other types of paid time off (PTO) to be carried over from year to year. If required, prepare to carryover your employees accrued but unused vacation and other paid time off into 2019.

Review your current employee handbook

‍Changes in laws or hospital practices may require you to update your workplace policies. Review your current employee handbook to confirm that they comply with current employment laws and reflect your hospital’s current benefits and practices. Remember, if you make updates, you need to distribute the revised handbook to employees and obtain and store employee acknowledgement.

Comply with NLRB

‍Ensure your current policies and practices do not infringe on employees’ right to work together to improve wages and working conditions. For example, the NLRB views policies that explicitly or implicitly prohibit employees from discussing their pay as unlawful. Review policies related to social media, confidentially and standards of conduct to ensure they provide enough details and content to make it clear that they don’t infringe on employees’ rights.

Review employment applications

‍Several states and local jurisdictions have enacted laws that generally prohibit employers from asking about criminal history on employment applications.

Update job descriptions

Review and update your job descriptions to make sure they accurately reflect the roles and responsibilities of the position.

Create a holiday calendar

If your hospital observes certain holidays, create and distribute this calendar to employees. This calendar will ensure that all employees know which holidays are paid and when the hospital will be closed in observance of certain holidays.

Create and distribute a vacation calendar

This will eliminate arbitrating arguments all year long with managers and employees. Employees should submit their requests in writing for any planned time off.

Review HR Budget for the 2019 year to allocate resources‍

Determine if you will need new employees, salary increases to current employees, bonuses, etc.

Plan and Perform annual performance reviews‍

Employees like to know how they performed last year so they can act accordingly for next year. Knowing what they did well and where they need to improve is critical for employee motivation.

Remind employees to update their personal information for benefits cards, tax documents, etc. Employees should review their information to ensure accuracy, including home address/mailing address, phone number, beneficiary for life insurance, name change, emergency contacts and dependent information.

Audit and organize personnel files for compliance‍

Back up any necessary HR data and personnel files. While you are at it, audit personnel files for compliance and clear out any old or unnecessary files, whether physical copies or digital. Separate terminated employee files from active employee files. Ensure that the personnel files are organized correctly, and private information is separate from general information.

Review vendor contracts and setup renewal details

‍Now is the time to assess your vendor contracts and note renewal dates and fees for budget and management purposes.

Ensure that anti-harassment training is completed

Harassment Prevention Training for all managers is required by law in some states and is certainly a “best practice” for all organizations.

Research new state, city or federal labor laws

Familiarize yourself with new and pending legislation that can impact your practice.

Review goals‍

Determine whether to carry over or modify goals that were not completed in 2018 and create any new goals for 2019.

Ensure that licenses and certifications are up to date for employees‍

Make sure all continuing education requirements have been met for employees that are required to maintain CE credits. Download your free printable Year End HR Checklist here.

Sheila Grosdidier, SCP
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