Seasonal Employees: Yes You Can Give Them Benefits

Karen Taylor Smith is the Senior Manager, Group Benefits at The Benefits Trust. She has worked with The Benefits Trust since 1997, using her deep knowledge of employee benefit plans to customize the right solutions for businesses. Karen speaks, blogs, and contributes regularly to various media outlets on group benefits and compensation topics.

Seasonal Employees: Yes You Can Give Them Benefits

Seasonal EmployeesMany businesses are wholly dependent on the season – golf courses, ski resorts, hotels, and so on. These places are extremely busy during certain times of the year, but nearly empty during the off-season. They need to hire a large number of full-time, seasonal employees for their busy time of year. These employees are laid off once the season is over and they are no longer needed.

One problem these companies face is the sheer cost associated with training new employees each year. It is a huge investment of time and money, especially when the employees may not return the following season.

Employers in these types of organizations can use a benefits plan as a tool to encourage employees to return. Customized benefits plans can be offered to current seasonal employees, or promised for returning seasonal employees. This helps businesses like golf courses and resorts retain the people they trained in previous years. Strategies like waiting periods based on cumulative hours worked over a period of years can be used to reward repeat employees with increasing benefits over time.

It is a win-win situation: employers win by keeping the employees they train, and seasonal employees win by receiving benefits coverage when they return year after year.

One strategy some seasonal businesses use is to tailor the benefits plan to provide employees with coverage that continues during the off-season. Employers need their  seasonal employees to be focused and on the job during the busy season. If the benefits coverage continues while the employee is not actively working, arranging appointments like dental check-ups becomes much more convenient for all parties.

Plan funding can even be arranged so that employers pay for the full cost of the benefits plan while their business is active, for example, April through November. Essentially, the employer doubles up on payments for part of the year. This allows company expenses to be reduced during the off-season, while employees continue to receive benefits coverage all year round.

Business owners often believe that they cannot offer benefits plan to seasonal employees – however, we have helped many businesses do so successfully. Working with professional advisors and their clients, The Benefits Trust can easily design a cost-effective benefits plan to accommodate seasonal workers.

>> If you are interested in customizing a benefits plan for seasonal employees, please do not hesitate to contact us today. We specialize in helping successful business owners build a better benefits plan than they can get anywhere else.

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