The summer holiday season is just getting underway here in Cornwall and many local businesses will be thinking about adding extra employees to their payroll, even if it’s only on a temporary basis until the season ends.

Although it’s early yet, thinking now about your staff needs over the busiest months will pay dividends both for you and your new employees. We don’t yet know how the holiday season will go this year but news this week from Thomas Cook that suggests people are postponing decisions about travelling overseas on holiday could result in a boost for domestic destinations. We can, of course, do nothing but hope for another summer of spectacular weather like last year!

In many ways, seasonal workers are administered in exactly the same way as all other employees from a payroll point of view, whether they have a fixed term contract or an open ended one. Similarly, brand new employees or those who are returning for another year are treated the same. Legally, you also can’t deviate from the minimum wage rates for seasonal employees, although for now the lower rate for younger employees still applies. Seasonal workers are also entitled to holiday pay and they will generate 7.2 minutes of holiday for every hour they work so this will need to be accounted for. Pension auto-enrolment doesn’t need to be a concern though as you can postpone new starter assessment for up to 3 months.

Seasonal or temporary employees may be on a zero-hour contract or don’t have regular hours. In which case, it will be important to put in place a simple process for capturing hours worked so the information is recorded efficiently and the correct amount is paid to each employee each week or month. The summer is your busiest time so you won’t want to be wasting it counting up hours or chasing people for timesheets each week.

Even if someone is only going to be with you for a few months, good training is still essential. Training makes employees feel valued and confident which will, in turn, benefit your business, especially if the employees are customer facing. Ensuring everyone knows the ins and outs of your business and understands the key processes will make for a smooth summer with less headaches for you sorting out problems.

Finally, make sure you keep in touch with your summer team during the off-season as that will make them more likely to want to return next year. Good employees will be in demand so if you can secure their services early then you’ll be able to tick that off your to-do list as well as possibly getting ahead of your competition.

Here at Pixie Payroll, we make adding employees to your payroll and administering seasonal staff as easy as possible. We just need a few bits of information about the employee such as their home address and NI number. It’s great if they have a recent P45 from a previous employer but if not, we’ll ask for an HMRC new starter form, so they start off on the correct tax code. They can then be included on the regular payroll at the first opportunity.