Why Temporary and Seasonal Employees Need Access to Benefits
Currently, it’s a candidate-driven job market. This means that employers must offer the best compensation and benefits in order to attract and retain the best employees. Oftentimes full time and some part-time employees get access to these perks, but temporary and seasonal employees are left out. They may just assume that the temporary workers automatically get benefits from their agency, or that they don’t need them because they are only working for a short period of time. This is not always the case.
Most recent reports from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that only around 57 percent of all small businesses actually offer health insurance benefits to their workforce, but that this number has grown dramatically since the inception of the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Companies with 50 or more employees are required to offer access to minimum health insurance options. Smaller companies that want to offer something more than just a paycheck to their workforce in an effort to attract and retain the best are using benefits and perks to sweeten the pot.
Yet, studies have shown that half of all employers offer additional perks, like life insurance, retirement savings plans, flexible work schedules, and voluntary benefit programs.
Ideas for Seasonal Employee Benefits
There are some additional benefits and perks that any employer can offer to its temporary or seasonal workers, which will help them to complete their contract and enjoy some of the other perks that regular long-term employees do. Temporary workers account for a large chunk of the workforce, and they often become permanent employees, so treating them right from the start counts.
Using temporary and seasonal workers can pose certain challenges, but these only come from strict benefit rules that leave them ineligible for standard health insurance. It takes creative planning to provide benefits and perks to temp employees.
Meals, Beverages, and Snacks
All employees need access to healthy foods, snacks, and refreshing beverages while at work. One nice perk to include for your temps includes free lunches, a coffee maker and cooler filled with free drinks, and a snack cart in the break room. All temps and seasonal workers can stay focused on completing tasks and they appreciate this gesture because they don’t have to spend their hard-earned dollars on food.
While they may be working for you for a short period of time, temps are looking for the opportunity to learn some new transferable skills. Make sure they have access to your online training systems and any classes you provide for regular employees. Encourage them to complete these training programs for inclusion in future hiring activities. This benefits your company because your temps will be better prepared and trained for their tasks too, which means they can ramp up to productivity fast.
As a company, you likely have access to multiple discounts from local vendors, restaurants, entertainment venues, and business services. Why not pass these nice discounts and perks down to your temps too? They will appreciate being able to make their paychecks stretch that much further, and you will be giving back to the community at the same time. Supply a discount pass or give your temporary workers the chance to buy discounted event tickets from your HR office.
Temporary and seasonal workers are ready to work hard for your company during their time with you, so why not offer them some decent bonuses and other incentives? Use a pay for performance model to give an end of contract bonuses based on individual efforts, loyalty, and going the extra mile. These can be cash bonuses, gift cards, and recognition. Provide a recommendation too, which they can take with them as they move on to other temp contract assignments.
While it may not be a requirement to provide health insurance to your temporary and seasonal workers, you are still obligated to provide a safe and healthy work environment. You can offer them voluntary benefits which they can pay for at low group rates. These benefits can include dental and vision care, life insurance, savings plans, and access to the corporate wellness program.
Early Contract Buyout
Many temps and seasonal workers are hired on for a few weeks to a few months. If you value a temporary employee who has performed well, buy out their contract and make them a permanent member of your team. This is a welcomed incentive that many temps dream of. Negotiate with your staffing agency to get the best buyout fee.