Ask the HR Department: Do you have any tips for hiring seasonal workers?

By HR and health & safety consultancy Peninsula Canada

The busy holiday season is here, and many businesses are hiring seasonal workers. For many dealers, another spike occurs in the spring, when the renovation season hits. Although seasonal workers are hired typically for six months or less, it’s important for employers to have a plan in place to ensure they have the right policies in place to avoid any workplace disruptions.

Here are some tips every employer needs to know when hiring seasonal workers:

Do seasonal workers have rights? Yes, they do. Generally speaking, seasonal workers are protected under employment standards and have many of 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.

Do seasonal workers need to have an employment contract? Employers tend to overlook the fact that seasonal workers need an employment contract, even though the employee will only be working for a short period of time. It’s important to note that such a contract benefits both the employee and employer. It paints a clear picture of what is expected and helps avoid any confusion.

Additionally, seasonal employment contracts containing a valid termination clause can be useful for employers in limiting the employees’ entitlements upon termination.

What should employers keep in mind when recruiting seasonal worker? Begin your recruitment process in advance, not only to fill spots but to find the right candidates. Job descriptions need to clearly outline the job requirements and work schedule. This includes being upfront about physical requirements and working later hours.

What can employers do to retain seasonal employees during the busy season? Whether it’s the busy holiday season or the rush come springtime, the pace can take a toll on staff and become overwhelming. Employers can offer end-of-season bonuses, provide benefits as well as perks, all to keep staff feeling satisfied and motivated.

Peninsula is an HR and Health and Safety consulting firm serving over 80,000 small businesses worldwide, including dealers in home improvement. Clients are supported with ongoing updates to their workplace documentation and policies as legislation changes. Additionally, clients benefit from 24/7 employer HR advice and are protected by legal insurance.