January, a Month of Important Deadlines and Planning



By Bill Swan, MLS, SHRM-SCP, Principal Consultant

The start of the new year brings important deadlines and serves as an opportune month for new initiatives. It is also a good time to be aware of current trends and discuss plans for addressing them in the months ahead.

Deadlines for Compliance and Payroll:

  • The deadline for ACA compliant open enrollment for 2024 health insurance plans is January 15th or January 16th in most states. This date is crucial for both employees and employers as it determines access to healthcare coverage for the year.
  • Distribution of W-2s and 1099-MISC forms is due to be completed on or before January 31st. This paperwork ensures accurate tax reporting and filing for everyone.
  • Quarterly tax deadlines: January sees several federal and state tax deadlines for employers, ranging from payroll taxes to unemployment insurance contributions.

Talent and Inclusion:

  • While DE&I is an ongoing effort, January serves as a time for reflection and planning. Consider new initiatives, progress reports on existing programs, and discussions about next steps.
  • With growing legislation, regulations, and public awareness, pay equity remains a hot topic. January is a good month for pay audits, revising compensation structures, or implementing new tools for salary transparency.
  • Competition for skilled workers continues to be fierce. HR professionals are busy with recruitment strategies, talent development programs, and employee retention initiatives. Consider how your team may try new initiatives in the months ahead.

Emerging Trends:

  • Work-life fit: Shifting from the notion of “balance” to “fit,” January is often when organizations announce new policies and programs aimed at integrating work and personal life in a way that benefits both employees and the company.
  • Impact of AI: As artificial intelligence continues to grow in the workplace, HR is grappling with its ethical implications and impact on employee roles and experiences. Discussions about data privacy, algorithmic bias, and reskilling for the AI age are important conversations.  If you have not yet started talking about AI, now is a good time.
  • Climate adaptation: With the increasing urgency of climate change, some companies may want to consider HR policies geared towards environmental sustainability, employee preparedness for extreme weather events, or remote work options.

These are just a few examples of important matters which fit the first month of the year. The specific topics will depend on your industry, the size of your organization, and your local regulations. However, keeping in mind these January deadlines and ongoing trends will help you stay informed about the most pressing human resources topics.

If your organization could use some help, FIT HR is here. Contact us and let’s start a conversation.