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5 Important Things To Consider When Hiring Seasonal Employees

As the seasons change, some businesses start to plan ahead for the winter, spring and summer seasons. Some Canadian employers may be looking to hire new seasonal employees to help them through, as demand shifts.

Hiring seasonal workers, however, may not be as easy and straightforward as it sounds. If you are a business owner who has done this a few times, you'll recognize these best practices. If this is your first time on this process, read on to find helpful tips to hiring right!

Here are 5 things you should keep in mind when you start hiring.

1. Know which types of seasonal workers you are hiring

There are two main types of seasonal employees:

Those hired to work only for one season, and are not returning, and those who return to their seasonal position year after year.

This point is relavant to how you want to fill your roster and how you fill their ROE to Service Canada at the end of the season, whether Returning or Not Returning. For example, if you’re looking to grow your team and invest in training people you might prefer these to be returning employees. However, if you just need some extra help during a peak period you might not have them as ‘returning’.

2. Ensure seasonal employees have proper employment contracts and tax forms

Since seasonal workers are employed for such a short period of time, many companies overlook the need to provide them with legitimate work contracts and/or TD1 forms. However, a seasoned business knows to have these processes in place for any new hire within the company.

Employment contracts state their wage, overtime, vacation pay, hours of work, and start/end date of employment. These documents put the terms in place for the new working relationship. Having these terms at the start of employment can help avoid misunderstandings between the employer and employee, and may help protect both sides when the term of the employment ends.

Employers should also have all new employees fill out two TD1 forms when starting a new job. These can be packaged in with the contract and other necessary onboarding documents. A new hire must fill out both the federal TD1 and the provincial TD1 if more than the basic personal amount is claimed. These forms will be required for payroll purposes and all new employees will be required to have both in order to have proper compliance for your new seasonal employees.

3. Don’t cut corners with payroll

As easy as it may seem to keep seasonal employees off payroll, make sure to keep all financial interactions with seasonal staff above board. Put them on the payroll!

While it may seem like a waste to spend time and money onboarding seasonal employees, it’s not—It will always cost you more in the end to resolve any issues with the employee, WSIB, let alone CRA. Your onboarding process should ensure that all your employees understand the terms, and get you the necessary information for payroll on time so you can provide them with proper pay stubs from the beginning.

Employers may need to double check with HR/Admin and accounting to make sure the onboarding compliance is solid for payroll.

4. Consider hiring Contractors for certain jobs

There’s great talent out there that’s not interested in working directly for an employer or being on the payroll. Contractors are great for a certain uptick in projects, and better still if it can be done remotely by someone.

Outsourcing might be the perfect solution for a specific job or project you need to get done, instead of hiring someone “in-house”. Considering a contractor over the employee may save you time and money especially in the case that you don’t necessarily know how to hire for the position.

5. Know if your employee will be claiming EI on the off season

Employment Insurance (EI) provides regular benefits to seasonal employees with the same support and resources available to all unemployed people looking for work. The recipients are required to look for a job and document their job search efforts on a continuous basis.

It is common for seasonal employees to claim EI on the off season. To qualify, your employee will need to accumulate 420 hours of insurable employment during your qualifying period. As soon as your season is over and employees are laid off, you will need to submit their Record of Employment (ROE) to Service Canada in order for your employees to receive this benefit. They will need to apply for EI benefits as soon as they stop working for you. They can apply for benefits even if they have not yet received their record of employment. They should do this, because if you delay filing your claim for benefits for more than four weeks after your last day of work, they may lose benefits.

If you feel stress when it comes to this area of your business and need assistance sorting these things out, it might be a good time to consider working with a bookkeeper and/or accountant. Take advantage of our FREE consultation!

To see how we can help, BOOK A CALL WITH US HERE.


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