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The temporary employee, is it really a win win situation?

The temporary employee, is it really a win win situation? (Last Updated On: December 1, 2015)

It is the first day of summer and with that an influx in business for a number of industries around the country. This means there is a need for temporary and seasonal workers. The hospitality, tourism and agricultural industries all have different modern awards to adhere to but when you throw in the mix a number of differing working visas and employment obligations it can be challenging for employers. With all this to consider, and you may find yourself in a bit of a predicament.

Hiring temporary staff has a number of positives, for you and the employee. Employers have the flexibility to hire rapidly, however they should be acknowledging the following details in order to avoid employment relations disputes, Fair Work Ombudsman investigations and even potential claims.

Top tips employers should consider before hiring temporary staff:

Have clear job descriptions and contractual agreements

It may seem pretty standard, however did you know that 61% of SMEs who hire contractors neglected to have contract agreements? By having detailed job descriptions the employee will understand what is required of them and what work is to be completed in the short or temporary amount of time. Employment contracts ensure that employees adhere to the requirements laid out by the employer. For example the number of hours worked and the dress code while at work are just two examples.

Do your visa research

The nature of temporary work attracts overseas (OS) workers, especially those on holiday visas. All OS workers are protected by employment obligations outlined in the Fair Work Act. Each visa has different requirements which the employer must adhere to. For example student visas prohibit the employee from working more than 20 hours a week. A 457 Visa holder must be able to speak proficient English as this protects the employer from health and safety risks should an accident occur due to a lack of understanding or ability to follow directions. Should an employer ignore these requirements, fines or investigations by authorities could apply.

Check the rate of pay

From recent news articles, it is apparent that some employers have a complete disregard of temporary workers entitlements, particularly when it comes to paying vulnerable temporary workers. Underpayments and sham contracting could result in hefty fines, so make sure that you seek advice and clarification on the particular modern award rate and minimum wage for the industry in which you are hiring.

If you are an employer hiring staff this summer and require support on how to manage your employment obligations when hiring, setting up contracts, policies and processes, checking rates of pay and outlining work health and safety requirements, call Employsure.

Employsure is Australia’s leading specialist in the field and will provide you with the advice you need so that you can focus on establishing your business. Call 1300 651 415 and find out how we can help you.

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