2012: The key dates of the year ahead

January 2012
Make sure you have your targets and objectives set so that you set off on the right foot and get everyone moving after the festivities.  January can be cold, dark and not very inspiring so a bit of motivational activity is a good place to start.
If you have reviewed salaries in December – make sure that you have written to confirm alterations to terms and conditions, informed your payroll supplier and aligned your budget figures to revised salaries.
Check in with your team – often folk make life changing decisions over the New Year so it is worth reconnecting so you can identify any plans that may influence your work plans. 
In the past I know of people who have come back and wanted to develop particular skills, others who are getting married or some who may have had a difficult time over the holidays.  Good not to make assumptions and check back in.
Holiday planning – make sure you have communicated your public holiday agreement, opening hours and get folks to plan annual leave so you can accommodate requests.  Remember that this year there is an additional holiday for the Queens Jubilee on the 5th June
Tax returns must be submitted electronically by end of January.
February 2012
Valentine’s Day – hearts and roses for some and not for others.  Perhaps think of having a theme for valentines to cheer folks up but give a thought to the issues of relationships @ work.  Many long lasting relationships have started in the workplace but probably they should develop outside of the workplace. 
Some organisations have specific policies which do not allow family members and close relationships amongst work colleagues as it can be very uncomfortable for others to witness overtly close relationships. 
It can be very difficult to manage performance if non work relationships are played out at work.  To avoid embarrassment – think this through and what is right in your environment.
It is a short month – lots to get done in a fewer number of days so planning and allocation of work is important
March 2012
Spring is beginning to spring and the first quarter is coming to a close – time to dust down those objectives and check progress
For some it will be end of the financial year and they may be thinking about annual reviews, bonus payments, commissions – so good to roll out employee preparation forms, reviews work achievements and training plans.
April 2012
Easter holidays – the first major holiday of the year and what is the start of a succession of public holidays
Maternity and paternity rules generally are amended in April and October of each year – so watch out for the changes and revisit your policy and practice to ensure that you are compliant.
Start of the new PAYE year so you need to think P35 and P60s and P11Ds as HMRC and your employees will be looking out for this documentation.
May 2012
There is only one May bank holiday this year – the late May bank holiday is to be moved to Monday 4th June 2012
June 2012
The Queens Jubilee – bank holiday on Monday 4th and Tuesday 5th June 2012:  Whether you need to honour both these days will depend on your contractual arrangements.  The statutory provisions are that your are required to give 28 days’ statutory leave to cover annual leave and public holidays.