Q. I am a retailer who, like many in my industry, has a huge spike in labour needs in November and December. What are my options?The most common ways that an employer can deal with seasonal variations in labour needs include the following:
- Agency workers: the employment agency deals with the administration involved in fluctuating workforce needs. The agency is paid for these services, but it can be a cost- and time-effective solution.
- Traditional fixed-term contracts: these are not quite as flexible as the other options, but short-notice provisions are often inserted into the contracts.
- Zero hours contracts: the "employer" is under no obligation to offer work and (generally, although not always) the "employee" is under no obligation to accept any work offered. This provides both parties with greater flexibility.
- Increased overtime (including weekend work): the viability of this option depends on how much more labour is needed.