Some businesses such as camp counselors, lifeguards, landscapers, and construction workers rely on seasonal employees. Doing so, helps employers meet customer demand without having to stress out staff or have an effect on the quality of service.
“Although seasonal workers are only typically hired for a short period of time, this type of employment still poses many questions. It’s essential for employers to have the right policies in place to avoid any workplace issues” says Alana Pratt, HR Advice Specialist, at BrightHR Canada. Alana shares below important information every employer who is hiring seasonal workers needs to know.
Be clear of job expectations and responsibilities.
Begin your recruitment process in advance to not only fill spots but to find the right candidates. Job descriptions should clearly outline the job requirements and work schedule. This includes being upfront about physical requirements and working late hours. It’s best to highlight core duties, skills needed, and employment duration.
The main risk of not outlining the duration of employment is that the employee may think they are a permanent employee and not just hired for the season. The employer may be open for more notice of termination than expected if they don’t have a clear contract in place and they may be at risk of constructive dismissal if they layoff the employee between seasons without their consent.
Do seasonal workers need to have an employment contract?
It’s crucial to remember that employment contracts are still needed, even if the employment period is for a short period of time. Contracts benefit both the employee and employer as it paints a clear picture of what is expected, especially surrounding the duration of employment for seasonal workers, which helps to avoid any confusion.
Having contracts in place provides clear and legally compliant options for managing seasonal workers. Fixed-term contracts end naturally at the conclusion of the season, eliminating the need for termination notice. Alternatively, permanent contracts allow the employer to temporarily lay off the employees if the break in between seasons is relatively short.
What rights do seasonal workers have?
Seasonal workers are protected under the employment standards legislation and have the same rights as full-time staff. This includes minimum wage, overtime, vacation pay, and hours of work. Seasonal workers are also covered under health and safety, human rights, and worker’s compensation legislation.
Provide work perks.
It’s important to motivate and engage seasonal staff, especially when they are working during one of the busiest times of the year. Employers can offer free lunch/beverages or discounts to the product or service.
Stay in touch.
Seasonal staff can make a great addition to your business down the line. Whether it’s to hire them for another busy season or full time, especially if the employer has found it challenging to find the right candidates.
It’s worth staying in touch, after all, the employee is familiar with the company and the culture so it’s a great opportunity to keep these individuals in your network.