August 18, 2020
By Rebecca Batisto
Seasonal employees can be an asset to your company, allowing you to increase staffing ahead of that busy holiday season temporarily. However, every time you employ new staff, you should take the opportunity to review your workers’ compensation insurance for seasonal workers.
When it comes to workers’ compensation coverage, each state has its own laws. But nearly all require a policy for any business with employees.
Understanding state workers’ comp laws and screening seasonal employee candidates can minimize the risks posed to your company. By securing workers’ compensation insurance, medical bills and partial lost wages may be paid following a workplace injury, hlelping you protect yourself from legal costs should an employee sue over an injury.
Seasonal workers are no more at risk of injury than your permanent staff. However, there are some issues specific to seasonal employees you can look out for and cover with the right compensation policy.
Every time a new temporary worker joins, training becomes a recurring activity. With everyone so busy over the seasonal period, often finding the time and free staff member to train your seasonal worker is easier said than done.
In our experience, we’ve seen many temps not given adequate safety training, which will increase their chances of sustaining an injury while at work.
A lot of seasonal workers will often try to balance several jobs at once. The added workload on top of their already busy schedule means temporary employees may choose to reduce their sleeping schedule. In turn, this will make them more accident-prone and increase the likelihood of an injury.
Temps can often be accused of moving too fast. By trying to keep up with permanent employees, seasonal employees could work at a pace that’s not right for their experience level, potentially risking themselves and others’ health.
You can minimize these issues by improving your hiring process.
It’s essential to treat your seasonal workers as if they were any other employee. You should be as thorough as you would be if you were employing a full-time member of your team.
Make sure your job advert is detailed and up to date. Being clear about what the job entails will not only help attract qualified candidates but also reduce the number of applicants who won’t be able to handle the demands of the job. This, in turn, will decrease the likelihood of a serious injury on site.
Perform background checks. It’s always important to check your applicants’ references to confirm their employment history. Those who lie about their past work are not only going to be less efficient on the job but also more susceptible to injury given their lack of experience.
Don’t be afraid to use a staffing agency if you don’t have the time to vet candidates yourself. The temp agency will screen applicants, perform background checks, and could cover the employee under the temp agency’s workers’ comp policy if necessary.
Over 60% of states require employers to immediately purchase workers’ comps after hiring their first employee. Penalties for noncompliance vary from state to state and can be incredibly high. In Michigan, business owners face potential fines of $1,000 per day for every day they are uninsured. They can also be jailed for up to six months.
If your business increases its number of employees, including seasonal workers, contact an insurance agent to ensure your workers’ comp policy is adjusted accordingly.
If you need support understanding the intricacies of workers’ comp insurance, talk to our experts at Normandy Insurance. Our mission is to provide you with the best service and keep up with the changing face of insurance.