With 2023 just weeks away, business leaders will be busy plotting their organisation’s courses through what’s expected to be a financially turbulent new year.
As an HR professional, this is also likely one of your busiest times of year. Year-end usually brings about a mountain of workforce administration that needs to be dealt with, such as workforce performance reviews, preparing for payroll year-end, reviewing paid sick leave requirements, auditing of annual leave accrual and rollover… not to mention thinking of new ways to support and engage your employees in 2023!
With so much to do and so little time, it can be easy to forget some of the key HR dates coming up in 2023. With that in mind, we’ve put together the critical dates HR professionals should have in their diaries to ensure key deadlines and events are not missed.
- Gender Pay Gap Reporting – March 30th 2023 – April 5th 2023
If your business has a headcount of 250 or more, you’re legally obligated to conform with regulations on gender pay gap reporting. Once a year, it requires employers to report and publish specific figures about their organisation’s gender pay gap. To meet your legal obligations, you must publish your pay gap report both on your own company website and on the reporting portal via GOV.co.uk.
If you’re a public sector employer, the date you’ll need to have in your diary for submitting your company’s gender pay gap reporting is March 30th 2023. If your business is a private or voluntary sector employer, the reporting date you’ll need to place in your diary is April 5th 2023.
Gender pay gap reporting is vital in encouraging a fairer, more even balance between men and women for average wages. And, given that diversity, equality and inclusion strategies are seen as one of HR’s most important trends over the next decade, it should be of paramount importance to every HR professional.
If you need expert guidance on gender pay gap reporting, head over to the Gov.co.uk site via this link.
- National Minimum Wage increases – April 1st 2023
The Government’s Autumn Statement included a rise of over 9% in both the National Minimum and National Living rates. The National Living Wage will also go up from £9.50 to £10.42, while there will also be increases across the entire minimum wage spectrum.
From April 1st 2023, the National Minimum wage will be as follows:
- Age 23 or over – £9.50 rising to £10.42
- Age 21 to 22 – £9.18 rising to £10.18
- Age 18 to 20 – rising from £6.83 to £7.49
- For workers aged under 18 who are no longer of compulsory school age – rising from £4.81 to £5.28
- Apprentices under 19, or over 19 and in the first year of the apprenticeship – rising from £4.81 to £5.28.
With these wage rises coming into force, it’s vital you understand if the increases will have a demonstrable impact on your organisation’s core goals or ambitions. Along with checking your organisation’s pay rates against the upcoming changes, also take the time to evaluate your company’s budgets for 2023 to see if these could be impacted by the rate changes.
For a full rundown of the changes to the minimum wage rates, head over the gov.co.uk website via this link.
- Payroll year end – April 5th 2023
For those of you HR professionals specialising in payroll, April 5th 2023 should be marked in your calendars, as this is when the payroll year end occurs for tax year 2022/23. It’s vital you submit your final payroll in time, so to help you process your payroll year end correctly, HMRC have a useful step-by-step guide that you can follow – just hit this link to learn more.
- Changes to statutory family-related pay and sick pay – April 2nd– 6th 2023
Along with changes to the National Minimum Wage, the Government’s Autumn Statement also confirmed that the weekly rate of family-related statutory pay for the tax year 2023/2024 will increase.
From April 2nd 2023, the flat weekly rate of statutory maternity, paternity, adoption, shared parental and parental bereavement pay will increase from £156.66 to £172.48. From April 6th 2023, the rate of statutory sick pay increases from £99.35 to £109.40 per week.
Along with adjusting these pay rates accordingly, it’s also worth remembering to factor in the changes for employees where their absence continues past the rate change date. This includes employees who may go on sick leave, maternity leave etc… after the new rates are put in place.
You can get a full rundown of the new benefit and pension rates at gov.co.uk via this link.
What other important dates should HR be aware of in 2023?
Alongside legislative changes in 2023, there are also a host of other important dates HR should be aware of in 2023. These include:
- The King’s Coronation – May 6th 2023
2023 will see the coronation of His Majesty King Charles III on Saturday May 6th 2023, and the UK will gain an extra bank holiday as a result. The extra bank holiday to celebrate the coronation will fall on Monday May 8th 2023, and this will be in addition to the bank holidays already scheduled in May (Monday May 1st and Monday May 29th).
The extra national holiday could lead to a rush of employees booking annual leave around these dates to take advantage of an extended break. So, as an HR professional, you’ll need to ensure your absence management processes are up to scratch, and also work closely with your line managers to ensure staffing levels aren’t negatively impacted.
In addition, confirm with employees how you’ll be managing the extra bank holiday in the context of any contractual agreements your company has, and update your HR system if required. Also, it’s possible you may have employees who’ll need to work over the extra bank holiday, even if they’re entitled to the time off. Consider whether you could offer either time off in lieu or extra pay to reward these employees for their work over this additional national holiday.
- Mental Health Awareness Week – May 15th – 21st 2023
Founded by charitable organisation The Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week looks to highlight the importance of healthy mental wellbeing and create open conversations about mental health. However, despite huge strides by many organisations to prioritise the mental health of employees, many people still consider discussing their mental health as a taboo subject.
HR professionals can play a vital part in normalising discussions about mental health and creating healthy, mentally supporting work environments. Mental Health Awareness Week provides the perfect platform on which to do that; so, start thinking about how your business can champion good mental health as part of a positive company culture.
You could start by having a look at 5 Inspiring TED Talks on the subject of loneliness – the key theme of 2022’s Mental Health Awareness week. Why not take a look?
- Pride Month – June 1st – 30th 2023
Did you know that over 76% of LGBTQ+ employees say they’ve hidden their identity at work? Although HR professionals are the custodians of workplace tolerance and inclusivity, it’s clear that there’s still a long way to go in making the world of work welcoming to everyone.
For that reason, it’s vital HR teams help support and foster more inclusive company cultures – and Pride Month is the perfect time to do exactly that. To discover some helpful resources that will help support your team, just follow this link.
- Black History Month – October 1st – 31st 2023
The 1st of October sees the start of Black History Month. The UK is lucky to have a wonderfully diverse and multicultural population, but its origins can be traced back to a much darker part of the UK’s history and the age of empire. As a result, many of the achievements and contributions made by Black, African and Caribbean people were overlooked, ignored or simply forgotten – something Black History Month aims to correct.
For HR teams, celebrating Black History Month is a brilliant way for your workforce to not only embrace and discuss cultural differences, but also enhance that all important staff engagement that supports positive company cultures. To learn how organisations can hold meaningful celebrations, just follow this link.
- National Work-Life Week – October 2nd – 6th 20223
Stress and burnout are two things that can be hugely damaging to a person’s wellbeing. The National Work-Life Week is all about reducing the chances of these two damaging mental health conditions, and promoting a healthier work-life balance for both you and your employees – so, definitely an event to put in your HR diaries!
The week is a fantastic opportunity for organisations to underline the importance of positive mental wellbeing and host activities to help raise awareness – such as encouraging employees to take regular breaks, share useful mental health resources or even hosting a group workshop on maintaining positive mental health.
Other notable dates to consider
- Chinese New Year – February 1st 2023
- Random Acts of Kindness Day – February 17th 2023
- Employee Appreciation Day – March 3rd 2023
- International Women’s Day – March 8th 2023
- Ramadan begins – March 22nd 2023
- International Human Resources Day – May 20th 2023
- Loneliness Awareness Week – June 13th – 17th 2023
- International Happiness at Work Week – September 18th – 24th 2023
- ‘Movember’ – November 1st – 30th 2023
- International Men’s Day – November 19th 2023