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Key HR Calendar Dates for UK Businesses in 2024: A Comprehensive Guide

James Rowland

James Rowland

Commercial Director

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As we step into the new year, many of us are attempting to stay ahead of the curve by preparing their HR calendars with essential dates and events.

From compliance deadlines to employee well-being initiatives, the following blog post outlines crucial dates that should be marked on the HR calendar for 2024:

January 2024

1 January 2024 – Series of Employment Law Reforms Come to Force

Learn more here.
 

15 January 2024 – ‘Brew Monday

The third Monday in January is sometimes referred to as ‘the most difficult day of the year’ – but this is a myth! Samaritans know we all have our good days and our bad days, and those aren’t for the calendar to decide.

On Brew Monday participants are encouraged to reach out and connect with family, friends, colleagues and loved ones. According to Samaritans, ‘If you’re sharing a cuppa and listening, you’re doing it right.’

February 2024

1 February 2024 – Time To Talk Day

The UK’s biggest mental health conversation, run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. It is an annual campaign for friends, families, communities and workplaces to come together to talk, listen and change lives.

You could host a tea-and-talk event in your community centre, put some posters up on a notice board or run a lunch-and-learn at the office. Your contribution can also even be as simple as texting a friend. 


5-11 February 2024 – National Apprenticeship Week

This Campaign brings together everyone passionate about apprenticeships to celebrate the value, benefit and opportunity that they bring.

 

17 February 2024 – Random Acts of Kindness Day

Originating in New Zealand, this key HR calendar date for 2024 encourages us to take the time to recognise and appreciate the little acts of kindness and promote kindness and positivity. Take a moment to brighten someone’s day!

March 2024

8 March 2023 International Women’s Day

With the collective mission to create a more inclusive world for women, this year’s #InspireInclusion campaign emphasises the crucial role that organisations, groups and individuals play in fostering inclusivity

Organisations can #InspireInclusion through action in areas such as women’s economic empowerment (by creating opportunities and ensuring fair practices); talent management (recruiting, retaining and developing female talent); supporting women/girls in the pursuit of leadership roles and careers in business/STEM; designing/building infrastructure meeting the needs of women/girls; empowering women/girls to make informed decisions about their health; involving women/girls in sustainable agriculture practices (to enhance food security), and providing women/girls with access to quality education/training opportunities.

29 March-1 April 2023 – Good Friday & Easter Monday

Bank holidays in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

April 2024

1 April 2024 – Holiday Pay Reforms Come to Force

Learn more here.

1 April 2024 – Additional free hours of childcare available for parents

Learn more here.

1 April 2024 – National Living Wage and Minimum Wage Rise Take Effect

Learn more here.

6 April 2024 – Start of the New Tax Year

The beginning of the new tax year brings changes in tax codes, allowances and National Insurance rates. HR departments must often ensure that payroll systems are updated to reflect these changes and communicate any adjustments to employees.

7 April 2024 – World Health Day

The WHO asserts, following countless studies, that countries that invest in universal healthcare make a sound investment in their human capital. 

Access to a very bottom line of care and financial protection will not only truly improve health and life expectancy, but also protects countries from epidemics, reduces poverty and the risk of hunger, creates jobs, drives economic growth and enhances gender equality.
 

The message of World Health Day 2024 is simple: giving people access to healthcare without the prospect of financial hardship is a win-win for individuals and nations alike. 

May 2024

6 & 27 May 2024 – Early May & Spring Bank Holidays

 Bank holidays in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
 

13-19 May 2024 – Mental Health Awareness Week

The theme of Mental Health Awareness Week 2023 was anxiety.

Focusing on anxiety this Mental Health Awareness Week provided us with an opportunity to understand how anxiety affects mental health and provide information on how to cope with and heal from anxiety.

June 2024

13-17 June 2024 – Loneliness Awareness Week

Loneliness Awareness Week is all about creating supportive communities by having conversations with family, friends or colleagues about loneliness. Loneliness is a natural human emotion – we are hardwired to need social connections. By talking about it, we can support ourselves and others.

21 June 2024 – Summer Solstice

While not a statutory holiday, the longest day of the year can be an opportunity for businesses to promote work-life balance, perhaps by organising flexible working hours or team-building activities.

July 2024

1 July 2024 – National Minimum Wage Increase Announcement?

Keep an eye on any changes to the National Minimum Wage rates, which usually come into effect in April. Adjust payroll accordingly to comply with legal requirements.

August 2024

1 August 2024 – Cycle to Work Day

Closely linked to the popular cycle to work scheme, Cycle to Work Day promotes the idea of a healthier commute, for people and the planet.

26 August 2024 – Summer Bank Holiday

Public Holiday in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In Scotland the Summer Bank Holiday takes place on 5 August.

This public holiday offers a chance for businesses to plan team-building events or acknowledge employee efforts. Again, consider regional variations in public holidays.

September 2024

1 September 2024 – Additional free childcare hours available for parents

Learn more here.

23-29 September 2024 – National Inclusion Week 

The National Inclusion Week campaign started with building awareness of inclusion and diversity, and is now shifting into empowering people to make change in their workplace by providing the tools, resources and interactive sessions to do this.

From celebrating diversity and inclusion in your workplace, to reflecting on which areas you could be doing better at, this key date is essential for HR professionals.

28 September 2024 – Gender Pay Gap Reporting Deadline

For companies with 250 or more employees, this is the deadline for publishing the annual gender pay gap report. Ensure compliance with reporting requirements and take steps to address any disparities.

October 2024

1 October 2024 – Increase in Minimum Auto-Enrolment Pension Contributions

Auto-enrolment pension contributions are set to increase on this date. HR departments should communicate these changes to employees and update payroll systems accordingly.

31 October 2024 – Halloween

While not a formal holiday, Halloween can be an opportunity for businesses to boost morale with themed events or dress-up days, fostering a positive workplace culture.

November 2024

19 November 2024 – International Men’s Day

International Men’s Day is an opportunity for people everywhere to appreciate and celebrate the men in their lives and the contribution they make to society.

December 2024

3 December 2024 – International Day of Persons with Disabilities

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities celebrates the achievements of those with disabilities and raises the importance of integrating disabled persons into every aspect of life.

25-26 December 2024 – Christmas Day and Boxing Day

Christmas Day and Boxing Day are public holidays across the UK, and businesses will typically be closed. Additionally, in Scotland 2 December is a Bank Holiday due to St Andrew’s Day. Ensure that holiday pay and leave entitlements are managed appropriately.

Staying proactive and organised by incorporating these key dates into your HR calendar will help your business navigate legal requirements, engage employees and foster a positive work environment throughout 2024.

Remember to stay informed about any legislative changes and adapt your HR strategies accordingly.

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