Should you hire seasonal workers for your business?
As the busy holiday season approaches, your business may need a little extra support. Hiring a seasonal worker may be the answer. Here we go over what a seasonal worker is, how to hire one and what your responsibilities to them are.
During the busy holiday season, many business owners rely on seasonal workers to offer support. A seasonal worker works for a set, limited period. Typically, this is for a period of six months. However, a seasonal worker can be asked back to work during the same season/time the following year.
You may be wondering, does this make sense for my business? Your need for seasonal workers may depend on the industry that you work in. For some industries, the need for seasonal workers is higher than others.
Businesses and industries that rely on seasonal workers include:
- Event planning
- Winter sports resorts
In some parts of Canada, the need for seasonal workers is especially high. For instance, Atlantic Canada typically sees a higher need for seasonal workers.
While hiring seasonal workers can be a major help to your business during peak seasons, there are a few things to keep in mind before you do so.
Best practices for hiring (and keeping) seasonal workers
When hiring a seasonal worker, make sure that your job descriptions are as detail rich as possible and that you hire well in advance. Also, it’s essential that you clearly state requirements and expectations in the job description. *
Examples of requirements and expectations include:
- Heavy lifting
- Working late on weekdays or weekends
- The speed or pace of work
And if you do decide to ask a seasonal worker to return, it’s important that you entice them to do so. We suggest offering them a bonus at the end of their term or providing benefits and perks for loyalty.
Your responsibilities to seasonal workers
While seasonal workers may only be working for you for a limited time, you still have responsibilities to them that you must fulfill. Seasonal workers are protected by Employment Standards, as well as health and safety, human rights, and workers’ compensation legislation. While their rights are not identical, they have many of the same rights as permanent employees.
Seasonal workers have rights relating to:
- Minimum wage
- Vacation pay
- Hours of work
And depending on their contract, they often have rights to Notice of Termination.
You may assume that since seasonal workers are not permanent employees, that hiring one does not require an employment contract. That would be incorrect. Since the employment agreement with a seasonal worker has strict time constraints, it’s helpful to have these dates in writing and signed by you and the employee.
What to include in the employment contract:
- A set start and end date for employment
- Hourly wage
- Hours of work
- A Termination Clause
When drafting an employee contract, keep in mind that you are not expected to hire the worker back in the future. However, if you choose to do so, you are more than welcome.
Need help hiring seasonal workers?
If the process for hiring seasonal workers has you a little lost, Bright HR is here to help. We recommend utilizing our vast library of E-Learning courses. If you still need help understanding the process for hiring seasonal workers, give us a call at 1 888 220 4924, Monday to Friday, 9-5 pm. A BrightHR advisor will be happy to assist you.