With just over a week to go to Christmas, the main priority for businesses, especially retailers, is ensuring you have enough stock on your shelves and enough staff to assist with the surge in sales. If you require extra help, temporary or seasonal workers can be the ideal solution to this short-term increase in business, without committing to permanent staff. Bearing this in mind, this article sets out some key considerations for your business when recruiting these employees.
The key to employing staff, especially seasonal workers who may be rushed into the business, is to clearly define the terms and conditions. In doing this, you will reduce the risk of possible disputes whether by permanent or temporary staff.
The Employment protection rights of temporary employees on fixed-term contracts should be the same as those permanent to the business. Considering how stressful the Christmas period can be it is important to remember that even seasonal employees are entitled to a written statement of their terms of employment within the first 5 days of the employee commencing which should include; Full name of employee and employer, Address of business place, The date of the start and the end of the contract or specific purpose expiry (if applicable), Rate of pay and its calculation, Number of expected number of hours (per day and week).
It is important to note that temporary staff are covered by the Fixed Term Work Act 2003 which protects fixed-term workers from being treated less favourably than comparable permanent workers. The working conditions of the seasonal workers must be consistent with those who are permanent. (i.e. Annual leave accrual, rates of pay, rest periods, etc).
In addition, if you decide to renew the fixed term contract after Christmas, the employee should be informed in writing justifying the renewal and explain why a permanent contract is not being offered by the date of the renewal at the latest. (The Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Acts 1973 to 2005 will apply).
If you prefer to pass the paperwork and payment responsibilities onto a third party (I.e. hiring temporary staff through an agency) In this event, their employment will be protected by the Protection of Employees – Temporary Agency Work Act 2012. This Act states that temporary agency workers must receive equal treatment in their working and employment conditions.
For further information in this area, you should refer to the SFA guidelines on fixed term workers. For specific queries, please do not hesitate to contact me on 01 605 1668 or at firstname.lastname@example.org