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2021 Checklist of Top HR-Related Tasks

A compilation of benefits, payroll, and compliance checklists to help HR stay organized

by Elle Mason

With new regulations and constantly changing labor laws on the national and local levels, having a general compilation of benefits, payroll, and compliance checklists can help any HR professional keep their head on straight. And even better, GoCo’s HRIS can make all of these tasks digital and automated. 

Payroll Tasks and Deadlines

  • Prepare FICA and FUTA forms – (FICA) Form 941 for Q4 and federal unemployment tax (FUTA) Form 940 are due Feb. 1, 2021. However, if all FUTA tax is deposited when due, you have until February 10, 2021 to file.
  • Prepare tax filings for non-employee compensation – Businesses must distribute Form 1099-NEC and submit additional copies to the Social Security Administration for individuals who paid over $600 in 2020 by February 1st, 2021. Form 1099-MISC must be distributed to recipients and submitted to the IRS by March 1 if filing by paper and March 31 if filing electronically.
  • File W-2 Wage statements, reflecting only the amount of Social Security tax withheld from 2020 wages. Businesses electing to defer Social Security tax must file Form W-2 by February 1, 2021.
  • Review updated DOL rule clarifying pay rate for piece-rate workers.
  • Ensure that employees and independent contractors are correctly classified – a proposed DOL rule may impact the definitions.
  • Ensure that exempt and non-exempt employees are correctly classified and that exempt employees are paid above the new exempt mimimum wage, if applicable.
  • Note that the EEO-1 deadline has been extended until March 2021.
  • Review the ACA requirements for 1094’s and 1095’s and prepare reports if needed.
  • Complete the PPP loan forgiveness application, if applicable.
  • Calculate your employee retention credit, if applicable.
  • Review tax credit provisions under FFCRA and CARES.
  • Review any applicable state developments including updates to minimum wage, FLSA overtime, expanded leave and salary history bans.

In addition to tracking these tasks, you can also run payroll directly through GoCo – which can minimize errors through features like automatic reconciliations and payroll updates.

Benefits Tasks and Deadlines

  • Conduct an employee count and determine if your business must comply with the FMLA.
  • Review FFCRA and CARES COVID testing coverage mandates.
  • Review FFCRA paid leave.
  • Review employee benefits packages and any applicable changes. 
  • Review Workers’ Compensation Policies and determine if adjustments are needed for remote workers or due to changes in the work environment.
  • Review current health care plans and any applicable changes.
  • Prepare for ACA reporting and audit FTEs for ACA compliance.
  • Prepare Medicare Part D disclosure and disclose no more than 60 days after the beginning of the plan year.

GoCo’s benefits feature offers certified benefits advisors and makes tracking and deadlines by storing all of your benefits in one place.

Core HR Tasks and Deadlines 

  • Remind employees to update their contact information if needed.
  • Review and update job descriptions to accurately reflect the current nature of work (including any required travel or contact with people).
  • Update the employee handbook with revised policies, procedures and 2021 new laws and requirements.
  • Update and communicate any remote work policies or changes.
  • Review all insurance policies.

GoCo’s Magic Docs feature makes this easier by allowing you to make updates to existing handbooks and policies and receive acknowledgement once your employees have reviewed them.

Compliance Tasks and Deadlines

  • Ensure that 2021 Federal, State and Local posters have been posted or distributed.
  • Ensure that required compliance notices such as 401k, HIPPA, etc. have been distributed.
  • Ensure that OSHA Form 300A is posted from February 1 to April 10, for applicable businesses.
  • Audit personnel files for compliance and ensure that employee files are updated – and that medical information is kept separately.
  • Update hiring practices and ensure managers are trained on legally compliant processes.
  • Review required federal, state and industry workplace training requirements that apply to your company, and schedule compliance training as needed.
  • Ensure that the company’s Injury and Illness Prevention Program has been updated.
  • Ensure that the COVID Prevention Program has been implemented

The HR support center helps you stay up-to-date by 2021 legislation and related information, while the advisors can provide guidance on COVID-related inquiries.

While a checklist of this size might initially seem overwhelming, GoCo has the capabilities to help you automate and manage these tasks. And in 2021 – with changing mandates, guidance and regulations – it’s more critical than ever. But please note that in an ever-changing climate, regulations, deadlines and deadlines can change – be sure to check with the appropriate organizations to better understand your responsibilities and stay informed about any updates.

See how GoCo can simplify your HR