Employer’s guide to Christmas 2021

Let’s Step Into Christmas

The festive season has sprung upon us once more. Although many welcome Yuletide, December tends to be a rather challenging period for HR professionals.

To support, we’ve put together an employer’s guide that will help you navigate the next few weeks to ensure everyone finishes the working year safely and happily.

 

December Payday

An important one for us all – including us people management pros! 

The first thing to address is determining the date employees will be paid. It’s not uncommon for employees to be paid pre-xmas, to help ease the financial burden of Christmas. 

In a time of greater awareness of financial wellbeing, It’s worth consulting with your employees and considering the additional burden a six-week gap until January pay-day may have on your people. 

For transparency and peace of mind, be proactive in communicating the date you choose to all team members well in advance so they can budget accordingly. 

If you’re a payroll professional, at other times of the year, a change in pay date would need communicating to HMRC under RTI (Real Time Information) rules. There’s no need in December to update HMRC on the pay dates. Even central government departments like to relax a little at Christmas!

 

Christmas Bonuses & Presents

If you get into the giving spirit with your people over the festive period, make sure you keep tight on the payroll and taxation admin.

Any cash you give to employees as a Christmas bonus counts as earnings, so you’ll need to add the value to your employee’s other earnings and deduct as Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax and Class 1 National Insurance through payroll.

If you give goods as Christmas gifts, and they can’t be counted as trivial benefits, you must:

Fill in the P11D and pay Class 1A National Insurance on the value.

 

Health & Wellbeing

Christmas isn’t necessarily the ‘most wonderful time of year’ for everybody. During this time of year, it’s crucial to look after your physical and mental health and that of your colleagues. Make sure you remain accessible and approachable and let your employees know you’re there to listen and support them. 

 

2022 Annual Leave

We get it, annual leave has been a minefield over the last 18 months. The pandemic has fuelled so many swaps, carryovers and changes, it’s fair to say it’s become quite confusing. With the requests to transfer annual leave into next year, please ensure you’re up to date on the company policy and communicate what individuals are able to do.

Working Time Regulations (1998) specify a very small range of circumstances where leave could traditionally be carried over for one year. However, the Working Time Regulations 2020 amends the 1998 regulations to create a further exemption relating specifically to COVID-19 allowing carryover into two subsequent leave years. It’s worth familiarising yourself with the specific legislation, and how it affects your business.

To conclude, it’s vital to remain consistent with each employee, including senior leadership.

 

Christmas Gatherings

It’s that time of year; parties, gifts and many lunches throughout the work week. 

82% of office workers want more team building events. As well-intentioned people management pros, we want to create a collaborative culture and foster togetherness. 

That said, Christmas parties can be so problematic for HR that many companies just don’t offer them any longer. 

If you are going ahead, as things get more relaxed during December, make sure you reiterate the company’s health and safety policies and drug and alcohol protocols to senior teams and staff alike. It is important to remain vigilant to alleviate any incidents, as addressing them after the event can be costly for many different reasons.  

 

If you need support don’t suffer in silence, get in touch with our team at Talk Staff. Together, we will help you navigate the complexity of Christmas from a people perspective.

Get a winter check-up for your business

Make sure you’re ready for anything this winter with a Workplace Winter Health Check.

We’ll review everything to assess how agile you are, then give you actionable insight into how you can make yourselves ready for uncertainty.

Content can be adapted to suit your business but typically involves:

  • Sick policies and procedures
  • Remote and hybrid working policies
  • Lay-off and furlough clauses
  • Employee wellbeing and engagement

From £125+VAT

how can we help you?

Contact us at the Talk Staff office nearest to you or submit a business enquiry online.