Seasonal employment refers to the practice of hiring workers to temporarily render work and services during a specific period or season only. This season is defined as a particular period in a calendar year, usually during what the business considers busy times of the year. The purpose of seasonal employment is to supplement the work productivity and capacity of a business for a given period.
Most seasonal employment is for part-time positions, although some organizations may offer full-time. The important thing to remember is that when we say seasonal employment, this is a temporary position that can last for a few weeks to several months, but is never a year-round post.
The following are some examples of periods for seasonal employment:
Businesses that operate only at specific times of the year such as winter season for ski resorts
Businesses that have peak customer volume during summer months such as outdoor recreation parks and beach resorts
Businesses that expect demand during a specified time like harvest time for farmers’ markets
What are the benefits of seasonal employment?
For employers, hiring seasonal workers is an effective way of getting necessary help onboard especially during peak times of the year or when a high demand for products and services is expected. This way, businesses can serve more customers efficiently which then translates to more profit. Because seasonal employment starts and ends for a given period, employers do not have to spend money on labor for the entire year, especially when extra workers will not be needed during the idle months.
Additionally, seasonal employees are part-time workers. They receive fewer benefits which allows employers to save on labor costs. Seasonal employees can also cover for the work of employees who are on vacation or are absent.
For employees, seasonal employment can help those who are looking for temporary work and not necessarily full-time, year-round work. For example, individuals who already have a primary job but are looking to augment their income may benefit from seasonal employment. Finally, seasonal employment is a good initial step for those who are also looking for a permanent role within an organization. They can gain valuable work experience and get to know the organization and workflow better.
Are there any laws that cover seasonal employees?
Yes, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of the federal government covers seasonal employees. The FLSA protects workers and regulates employment concerns by establishing minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards.
As per FLSA standards, seasonal employees, part-time or full-time, must be paid the minimum wage. The present federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. If the state where they are employed has a higher minimum wage than federal standards, the employers must give them the minimum wage that is higher and more favorable to the seasonal employee.
Remember that seasonal employees are entitled to be given overtime pay if they work for more than 40 hours in a single workweek. The rate should not be less than time and a half or 1.5 times their regular hourly rate for all hours worked after 40 hours.
The FLSA upholds child labor provisions to protect minors from employment with conditions that endanger their safety, health, and well-being. Children who are 14 and 15 years old are only allowed to work for a limited number of hours every week in limited jobs. For those who are 16 years old and above, employers are allowed to assign them a work schedule according to the needs of the business. However, 16 and 17-year olds are not allowed to work jobs that are deemed hazardous by the Secretary of Labor.
When it comes to tax withholding regulations, they also apply to seasonal employees. For employers, it is best to remain updated with your state and local employment regulations.
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