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Thinking of hiring a seasonal workforce, you should read this

With the weather improving across the UK, we decided to look at seasonal recruitment and how important it is. If you run a business in the leisure and tourism industry, you know there are high levels of preparation involved in keeping customers satisfied. 

Businesses and staff have to work flexibly to accommodate the unpredictable demands of the industry. Being prepared for any situation is key, this could include recruiting and employing extra staff. 

Research by Sheffield Hallam University shows the market for seasonal staff is growing year on year. Between 1998/2000 and 2006/2008 the number of staff employed seasonally rose by over 14,000. 

Thinking of hiring a seasonal workforce, you should read this

The main benefit of seasonal work for employees is the flexibility it offers. Many recruits choose to work season to season, contracts are flexible, it allows a varied lifestyle and workers have the opportunity to explore other interests.

Businesses often employ seasonal workers to maintain the best service possible under extremely busy circumstances. It avoids being overstaffed in the low season and temporary recruits can also help resolve staffing issues caused by sickness, holidays or maternity leave.

What you should know

Whenever you employ seasonal staff, you must make sure you have a contract in place. You must be extremely clear about what role is being offered, and include all conditions and stipulations.

You will also have to make sure individual employees are aware of the notice specifications. This avoids any confusion and unnecessary hassle in the future.

What rights do seasonal workers have?

Seasonal or fixed-term contract workers are allotted the exact same working conditions and benefits as permanent staff. They’re entitled to the same working hours, pay, and holiday as other staff. You should make certain that all staff, including fixed-term workers, are aware of their rights and duties. 

They should also receive information relevant to permanent vacancies in your organisation, and what the process is in the case of redundancy.

Select your recruits wisely

There’s only one key element that you must remember when hiring temporary staff: select them carefully. 

Just because you’re hiring staff on a temporary basis does not mean you should hire anyone who applies for the job. Make certain they have the skills and attributes you would require from a full-time member of staff.

In order to prepare your business effectively, it’s wise to perform interviews with possible candidates in advance of your busy season. 

Working in a high-pressured environment, such as the hospitality industry, doesn’t allow for a lot of spare time for interviews, so planning ahead helps. Doing so means trial-shifts can take place earlier and you can make a sound-assessment of the individual. 

You may regret leaving recruitment to the last minute, and it could end up costing you more money due to an unproductive workforce.

Engage your team

Ensure your permanent staff understand why temporary workers have been employed. Keeping everybody informed allows permanent employees to feel valued. To ensure seasonal staff remain motivated and productive you could think about offering:

  • Overtime payments
  • Productivity bonuses
  • Staff discounts
  • Staff trips/days out

Use these tools to build a positive environment and increase loyalty from staff.
Fixed-term workers are a fantastic resource, especially for filling in the gaps during peak times.

There are multiple ways in which we can support you as an FSB member. 

For example:

  • FSB Legal Protection Scheme offers legal advice 24/7. Join us for peace of mind that you have round-the-clock access to legally sound and impartial advice. Our members also have automatic online access to a wide range of legal documents.
  • FSB Employment Protection offers you online legal advice and important information on UK employment legislation. Our members have on-demand legal advice, covering issues like dismissal or discrimination claims and employment tribunals.
  • FSB Health and Safety Advice will help you find out how health and safety laws affect you and your small business.
  • FSB Cash Advance could help if you find yourself suddenly needing to hire a few extra staff members. Our cash advance service is a risk-free way of raising finance quickly.
  • FSB Insurance Service can provide public, employer and product liability to protect you and your business against negligence claims from employees and members of the public. We also have personal accident and assault cover available in case you or your staff are attacked.

If you’re currently an FSB member, take a look at the above pages to see how you could benefit from the services.

If you own a small business, then you can sign up for FSB membership here. Come and join our growing small business community on twitter, @FSB_Voice!

FSB Employment Protection from FSB

A wealth of important information and advice, available online in-case you face dismissal or discrimination claims and employment tribunals.

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