July 8, 2020

FY2021: How to plan for the year ahead when it comes to HR

At the end of each FY, I recommend business owners and managers review their HR practices and requirements. Also, to look ahead to the next 12 months. And this practice has never been more important than right now. For many businesses, FY2021 is shaping up to be a very different kind of year to any we’ve experienced, and that will have profound implications on your HR strategy. 

With that in mind, here are six things you need to know in human resources for the 2021 financial year.

HR Tip 1. Assess your situation 

Before you can properly plan for HR, you need to know what you’re planning for. What will business look like in the short-to-medium term and what human resources will you need to make it happen? 

Now I know that sounds like a difficult thing to predict right now, but it’s also an important thing. You need to remain realistic. If your business has halved, you won’t be able to afford to run it the way you have in the past. If you’re one of the lucky ones who have a growing business right now, you also need to plan for that.

HR Tip 2. Make a post-JobKeeper plan

A lot of businesses are currently relying on the Federal Government’s JobKeeper wage subsidy to keep their employees ‘on the books’. In some cases, it’s JobKeeper that’s keeping their whole operation afloat during one of the worst economic conditions we’ve experienced in our lifetime.

But JobKeeper was only ever meant to be a temporary solution. At the end of September, it’s scheduled to run out. And whilst the government has been hinting that it may continue financial support beyond that date — at least for some industries — nothing is set in stone. So, if your business is currently relying on JobKeeper, make sure you have a plan in place for when it ceases.   

HR Tip 3. Take redundancies into consideration 

If you won’t be able to keep on all your employees, the reality is that you may need to start thinking of what action to take. For some, that could mean reducing hours or changing the makeup of your workforce, for others it could also mean redundancies.

If you do have to make some employee’s roles redundant, it’s important that you do it correctly. Take the time to properly assess the needs of your business, as well as who can perform them. You also need to consider whether you can accommodate employees in other roles.

Furthermore, it’s vital that you pay staff their correct entitlements, including any redundancy payment under their employment contract, Award or agreement (or if they don’t have one, under the National Employment Standards). Getting this wrong can lead to expensive claims — something that could be disastrous for business.

HR Tip 4. How will your workplace function in FY2021?

Whilst the COVID-19 pandemic was bad news for many businesses, one positive that seemed to come out of it for many, was that it changed the way people worked. This especially rings true when it comes to working from home

Many people I spoke to were surprised by how productive and engaged their teams were when they weren’t in the office — and many have vowed to allow greater flexibility as things get back to normal.

Now is the time to work out what your workplace will look like over the coming financial year. If you decide employees should be granted permission to work from home more frequently, make sure you have the HR procedures in place so that it happens correctly. 

And, if you don’t want people working from home — that’s completely fine too. 

HR Tip 5.  Stay atop of legislative changes 

The 2021 financial year is bringing with it several important legislative changes. It’s important that you are across these to avoid any hidden surprises later in the year. 

Key legislative changes include adjustments to the maximum superannuation guarantee contribution (SGC) which now tops out at $21,694 a year (or a salary of $228,360). At the other end of the salary scale, the minimum wage will go up to $19.84 an hour. 

There are also changes to the tax-free redundancy threshold and the Paid Parental Leave scheme. You can read about the legislative changes you need to be across here

HR Tip 6. Communication is key

Ultimately, the most important thing you can do when it comes to HR is to communicate. And this need to communicate goes up ten-fold in uncertain times.

So if you’re not regularly speaking with your employees, discussing where each other stands and communicating actions, FY2021 is the time to start.

And, if you need help with how to do that in a COVID-disrupted economy, here’s where to start.  

Want more expert HR planning advice? 

FY2021 is going to be a year like no other. But with the right planning, you can help stay on top of HR issues. If you’re ready to rethink or restructure your human resources, or need help with your HR planning for FY2021, get in touch with the Catalina Consultants team today. 

say hi to our author

Merilyn founded Catalina Consultants in 2012 on the belief that all organisations, regardless of size, should have access to top quality bespoke HR services. She enjoys working closely with her clients and believes that the best results are built on relationships of rapport, trust and authenticity. Growing up, Merilyn had her sight set on stardom and dreamed of becoming an actor. She also sang and played the piano, but ended up studying accounting and HR. Whilst she hasn’t won her Grammy just yet, she still loves a good karaoke night. Merilyn loves to travel with her family, with South Africa being one of her most memorable destinations.

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