Seasonal staff: Keep on payroll or rehire each time?

by on
in Hiring,Human Resources

Q. Our restaurant chain employs college students part time during winter and summer breaks. We don’t provide benefits to part-timers. What are the pros and cons of leaving them active in the system vs. rehiring them as seasonal workers each summer and winter? — Lynn, Missouri

A. One benefit to leaving them active in your system is you can avoid a lot of rehiring paperwork each time (applications, I-9s, etc.). A possible downside: You’ll have more “active” employees on staff, which may bring relatively small organizations within the scope of laws such as the FMLA.

Also, if some students wish to return and you don’t have hours for them, they might become eligible for unemployment compensation. But given the relatively low number of hours worked over the prior weeks, the possibility of having to pay unemployment seems to be a small concern.

I’d suggest that you set a uniform policy regarding how long an individual can remain on your active roster without actually working, however, to ensure that your list of employees remains relatively current. If someone goes an entire school year without working, it may be easier to simply rehire him or her at that time.

Leave a Comment