July 31, 2019
By Rebecca Batisto
‘Tis the season… to be in a state of panic because you don’t have enough workers.
Depending on your industry, there might be seasonal periods where your business can barely keep up with the demands your customers are putting on you. During those times when you’re overwhelmed your first instinct might be to hire more full-time or part-time employees, but there are considerable drawbacks to both of these options.
Part-time employees usually have caps on how long they can work, limiting their usefulness at times when you’re already overwhelmed. And while hiring more full-time employees would help instantly, what happens when the rush season is over and you suddenly have way more full-time employees than you need?
Thankfully, there is a great solution, and that’s seasonal employees. These are full-time employees that you hire for a fixed period, usually no longer than 120 days, then let go. This gives you access to high-quality, high-capacity workers at the times when you need them most, but there is something you need to be aware of.
Like with all workforces, you may be required to offer seasonal employees insurance benefits, just like all of your other employees. These benefits, including workers’ comp, must be equal to those of your full-time workers.
It’s essential that your organization comply with all of your state laws regarding workers’ comp to make sure that you’re fully covered in the event of an emergency. The last thing you want is to be paying a fine for every day that your seasonal workers remain uninsured. Or even worse, have a seasonal employee be hurt on the job and end up suing you for lost wages and medical bills.
While seasonal employees offer a great solution to augment your workforce during busy periods, many employers have concerns about their quality. You might be worried that they don’t have the necessary experience for the job, that they are somehow less desirable than full-time employees, or that they are more likely to be injured.
By putting workers’ comp insurance benefits into place for these employees, you will be able to mitigate all of these issues.
One of the best ways to make sure that you can avoid workers’ comp situations is by hiring people who perfectly fit your job description.
If your organization requires high-experienced workers or employees who have specific training for the job, be sure to specify that in the job description. Hiring under-qualified people is a sure-fire way to run into workers’ comp issues later on, as they won’t have the necessary expertise to handle the job.
Another area to think about is on-the-job training. Some business might skimp on training seasonal workers, as they won’t be around for the full year. This would be a huge mistake, as a lack of training can lead to accidents in the workplace. By fully training all of your workers, seasonal or not, you will be significantly decreasing the chances of injuries and workers’ comp kicking in. Remember, providing mentorship programs between full time employees and seasonal employees counts as a type of training.
To be sure you get the right seasonal workforce in place, we often recommend using reputable staffing and recruitment agencies. These organizations can provide you with a pool of high-quality temp/seasonal employees whenever you need them. Staffing agencies usually carefully screen the workers they sign up, making your job of bringing on qualified people that much easier.
Hiring seasonal workers offers businesses of all sizes a perfect solution to their workforce problems. However, they can also add an extra layer of complexity when it comes to insurance and workers’ compensation. If you want to be sure that you have all of your seasonal workers fully covered in the event of a workplace accident, we invite you to contact us at Normandy Insurance today!