5 Must-Do Tasks for HR Professionals Before the Start of 2022

December 17, 2021
Nicholas K

2021 has been a hugely challenging year for everyone, with the COVID-19 pandemic causing significant disruptions to the economy — in Malaysia, and throughout the world. Those of you working in HR, meanwhile, have certainly had a year to remember, with largely unprecedented lockdown measures meaning that a digital-first approach has become a must when managing the workforce. 

Most, if not all of us have had to deal with remote and hybrid work arrangements over the past year or so. This has come with its own set of challenges, including managing leave allocations, attendance tracking, performance reviews, or simply just regular meetings. 

But with the help of digitalisation, businesses have managed to get by — with an eye on a brighter year ahead in 2022. Before you go off on your Christmas or year-end holidays, here are 5 tasks that every HR professional must complete before the end of the year. 

Communicate carry-forward leave policies 

What happens if employees have a remaining balance of annual leave in their entitlements at the end of the year? For employees covered by the Employment Act 1955, leave that is accrued over 12 months of continuous service can only be used within the following 12 months — after which, the leave is wiped out. 

Meanwhile, employees that aren’t covered by the EA must examine the terms of their employment contracts for carry forward leave policies. Do note that carry-forward is not a legal requirement — consider it as an employee benefit. 

Before the year closes, HR professionals should take note of all leave policies for the company, and communicate all relevant information on carry-forward leave policies to employees, including: 

  • Limit on unused annual leave days that can be carried forward to 2022
  • Deadline for the carry-forward leave to be utilised in 2022

Transparency is always appreciated, so if you’re using altHR, you can utilise the Documents module to store employee handbooks and other relevant policies for easy access for your team; the Highlights module can also be used to quickly broadcast important announcements to employees. 

You can read more about Annual Leave in Malaysia here.

Plan for public holidays in 2022

National and state public holidays in Malaysia have already been confirmed for 2022, so a good idea is to send out a memo to all employees to aid in planning for the year ahead. This involves manpower planning for certain busy/festive periods, while this practice can also help your teams schedule vacation days in advance — ultimately leading to minimal disruption to the business. 

An easy way to do this, besides an email memo, is to create a calendar — this is even easier if your company uses a shared calendar, such as Google Calendar or Microsoft Teams Calendar. Or, simply share a link to this guide with your colleagues for a comprehensive view of all upcoming public holidays in Malaysia for 2022:

Click to enlarge / Source: MEF

Click here to read more about public holidays, long weekends, and planning vacation days at your company.

Refresh leave policies and entitlements 

You should also take note of the amount of leave that employees have taken over the course of the year, as well as remaining balances and various leave policies.

For example, allocations for sick leave and hospitalisation leave will refresh when the new year starts. Again, this will usually be covered within employment agreements signed at the beginning of the tenure, while employees covered by the EA are entitled to:

  • 14 days per year if employed for less than 2 years 
  • 18 days per year if employed between 2–5 years 
  • 22 days per year if employed for 5 years or more

Most, if not all companies do not provide for carry-forward of sick leave or hospitalisation leave. This means that you’ll need to manually refresh allocations within any records or systems that you might be using to track employee leave entitlements — unless you’ve already digitalised your HR with something like altHR.

Meanwhile, you should also use this end-of-year period as an opportunity to review all leave policies, and refresh all entitlements on your HR system of choice. Read more about that here

Annual performance reviews 

You’ll also want to ensure that all of your employees have had their annual performance reviews, or at least, have their 2021 appraisals scheduled with relevant managers. This should be timely as performance reviews are significant factors to potential increments, raises, promotions, and annual bonuses.

As we move into 2022, it’s also worth noting that more companies around the world are discovering the benefits of regular, informal feedback — this means that employees are reviewed on a more frequent basis. 

Consider setting up check-ins (appraisal is a scary word, after all) on a monthly, bi-weekly, or even weekly basis for 2022. This ensures that everyone is aligned on  deliverables and performance, and there isn’t a nasty surprise waiting at the end of the year for employees.

Read more about that in our free-to-download white paper here.

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Use altHR to keep track of policies & communicate better with employees in 2022 — all in one place

Manually keeping track of leave entitlements and even performance reviews for employees can be a challenging process for employers and HR professionals — but it doesn’t have to be. 

Digi’s super app, altHR, can help with this. The Leaves module (one of the most popular features on the app) is a comprehensive tool that helps to keep track of your employees leave allocations, requests, and policies. 

You’ll even be able to handle the more complex aspects of leave policies, such as the different entitlements for different groups of employees based on tenure with the company, marital status, levels, carry-forward balances, replacement leave policy, and even leave reports. There are even options for automatic carry-forward leave balances, or custom limits you can set. 

And of course, all of that works seamlessly with the other modules in the new normal, such as Highlights,  Documents and Expenses. 

HR professionals are often faced with daunting, often tedious tasks on a daily basis — tasks that have become even more difficult to handle in light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation. 

But help is available, if you know where to look. Let us streamline your HR processes by managing and automating day-to-day tasks, so you won’t have to worry about things like paperwork, privacy concerns, time-tracking, or onboarding challenges.

Sign up for altHR, the all-in-one digital solution that covers everything from onboarding to staff management and providing employees with information kits. You’ve done it the old way long enough.

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