The Key to Successfully Managing a Casual Workforce

by Caity Wynn, 3 minutes read
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As a small business owner in the retail goods space, it’s likely that a good portion of your team is likely made up of casual or seasonal employees. Are you across everything you need to know about their work rights? Do you have a plan in place for retaining good casual workers? And how are you placed to train those employees for career and personal growth? Here are our best-practice tips.

Clarify holiday times and penalty rates

Casual team members earn a higher hourly rate (called ‘casual loading’) than equivalent full-time and part-time employees, but that’s only because they don’t receive benefits like sick pay and annual leave.

That doesn’t mean they have zero benefits though. Check out the Fair Work Ombudsman for all the nitty-gritty details, but be sure to note casual employees are entitled to:

  • Two days unpaid carer’s leave and two days unpaid compassionate leave per occasion.
  • Unpaid community service leave.

Also, after 12 months of continuous employment, and if it’s likely the casual employee will continue, they can:

  • Request flexible work arrangements.
  • Take parental leave without pay.

It’s also vital you understand casual penalty rates, as there are pay guides and three different methods you need to monitor.

Focus on recruiting and retaining a solid casual base

It may seem counterintuitive, but a casual employee base can actually be extremely solid if you strategise properly.

Put yourself in a casual employee’s shoes. What would you want from an employer? Consider whether you are seen as:

  • An employer of choice.
  • An employer who rewards loyal team members.
  • A good trainer for onboarding purposes.
  • Someone who has mastered the tools of your trade.

If people see you as a business that gets things done and employs a happy casual team, you’ll be more likely to attract the right people. If you’ve mastered all of the above, employee retention will be much easier.

Team training

Casual employees aren’t living under a rock. They already know they won’t get the same benefits as full-time employees. So be upfront about what you can offer them, and explain that while they aren’t entitled to guaranteed hours each week and may be called in at short notice, you will treat them just as well as any other employee type.

It’s important to practice this from the beginning, and the best place to start is at team training. The onboarding process is the perfect time to set out what casual employees can expect when working at your business, and it will give them an opportunity to raise any questions or concerns before their first shift.

Integrate casual employees

The most important thing to remember is casual employees want to feel like part of the team. Integrate your casual workforce by bringing them to team meetings, giving them the same resources and treating them with the same respect you would a full-time team member who’s been with you for years.

A good way to bring casual employees into the fold is to share your communication system with them. An online collaboration platform is a place where all employees and managers can share their insights and goals for the business.

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