Seasonal employment is highly practiced around the world and it has been incorporated in the business world. This can be attributed to the fact that some businesses have a tendency to pick during some part of the year. Employers are, therefore, obligated by the circumstances to employ more workers during their respective high season. On the other hand, governments have enacted laws to regulate it and to clearly stipulate the guidelines of dealing with employees who are either local or foreign. In fact, for many businesses, especially retailers, the high season simply defines their financial year in terms of performance. It, therefore, becomes paramount for the business to optimize their operations in order to meet their targets and compensate for the low season. In many firms, human reason is very important for most of their operations hence seasonal employment increases (Jeffrey, 1976).
Unfortunately, most employees and employers are ignorant about seasonal employment and its subsequent logistics. This can be partially attributed to the human conscious that this is temporally, and most issues can be swept under the carpet. It is also aggregated by the fact that seasonal employees are mostly hired by small business that cannot afford to commit enough resources to recruitment or hire lawyers to advise same according to the law (Jeff, 1998). In order to tackle the problem, all stakeholders, workers, trade unions, and employers need to be sensitized about how to deal with the challenges. Several steps have been made at state levels to deal with the problem, but the issue of seasonal employment and information that the public knows is very minimal. Governments of states have formulated several legislations that deal with seasonal employees and their rights. The laws cover sensitive issues that arise during hiring and actual working situations. Some of the laws that are incorporated in seasonal employment acts are outlined further.
Discrimination of people when hiring because of gender, color, age, and sex orientation is prohibited. In fact, discrimination is emphasized in the seasonal employment in the same caliber as permanent employment. Employers are, therefore, supposed to treat potential employees purely according to their credentials and abilities. It is unlawful not to employ individuals on the basis, which cannot have an impact on their performance such as their skin color or religion. Foreign workers are allowed by the law to work in the United States, especially those who possess JI visas. JI visas simply allow the business to hire students from other countries around the world. Those who get these temporally jobs work for a period of sixteen weeks maximum. However, the employer must pay foreign workers the same amount he pays his American counterparts. This means they have to comply with the minimum wages allowed by the state and also pay for overtime.
It is important to note that in workforce, especially seasonal one, there is a large number people who still work although they do not have the necessary documents or a working visa, especially aliens. Some employers simply ignore this fact and employ them because they can take meager pay and they know they are not protected by law due to the fact that they are working illegally. Working conditions of workers and their safety must always come first. The employer has a legal obligation to make sure that their employees’ safety is not compromised at any cost. In some instances, medical cover for seasonal employees is recommended and encouraged during the hiring. This is to cover medical bills in case of accident in the work place. With the importance of human resource, good management becomes the main pillar of a successful organization. Human resource management, therefore, takes central stage in running seasonal employees because of their importance to the business. The human resource management has to take into consideration the laws of the state and formulate the policies that adhere to them at the same time achieving the main goals of the company.
In order to prevent conflict that might arise between workers and the employer, it is important for human resource to fully explain to potential workers the benefits, which they are or they are not entitled to. Some of the benefits, which seasonal workers may not be entitled to include things like retirement benefits or vacations. This is due to the fact that these seasonal employees are employed for a short time and some things, like paid vacation, may be unrealistic. In the hiring the human resource department should consider discrimination laws. In sticking to the rules, this promotes fairness to potential employees. They get that inner confidence that is their credentials, which will be analyzed rather that their skin or other natural endowments, which they have no control of.
The human resource must also consider the welfare of workers and their safety. Workers should be supplied with necessarily working gear that can prevent injuries or reduce in case of an accident. Those who work in chemical plants or other hazardous environment must be taken care by encouraging shifts to make sure the workers are not exposed for a long time in a risk environment, which may affect their health immediately or in the future (Jeff, 1998).
It is also the duty of the resource management to explain to potential workers the risks that they might come across and effects on their health or well being. This simply gives a potential employee knowledge about the work and the logistics involved, hence they can make appropriate decisions. This eliminates surprises and prepares workers psychologically to taking a certain job. The issues of seasonal employment to a large extent usually confuse employers and employees alike. Employers tend to ignore the rights of employees, yet the law has a razor margin in terms of the rights of permanent and temporally employees. They also assume that foreign workers are entitled to be paid less and they employ them increasing their profits by lowering their labor costs. On the other hand, most seasonal employees are ignorant about their rights hence employers can violate them and get away with it. They tend to think since their employment is not permanent, they are inferior to their counterparts. They also do not establish themselves with the organization they are working for or feel they are part of it. In this regard, the human resource must come into play and quell their fears and any inadequacies this seasonal worker may feel.
It is, therefore, very important for both employees and seasonal employees to be sensitized about all concepts and how it can benefit both parties, the creation of mutual respect, and understand why employers cannot give them a permanent job is one of the basic things that seasonal employees should know. They should also feel treasured and their efforts should be appreciated by the management. In every organization, their public image is very important, and it should be maintained in the best way possible. Organizations should be careful when dealing with their human resource because to some extent employees carry the image of the company. For example, if a certain company discriminates people of a certain gender or race when it comes to employment, this can bring out adverse effects on their image, especially if this information gets to the public and media. Negative image can have catastrophic effects on the business (Jeff, 1998).
If the employee, on the other hand, gets injured in a way that could have been prevented or simply avoided it can lead to lawsuits, which can lead to the loss incurred by the company in terms of compensation to the victim. It is, therefore, important that human resource consider safety of their workers according to the law to avoid being caught up by negligence, which in the long- run can have dire consequences for the firm. When an organization handles their workforce in a good way, it has an edge in several ways. Some of the advantages can transform into profitability in the following ways: seasonal workers will feel appreciated when their rights are respected, and this will definitely motivate them to improve performance. Their rights can be respected by paying considerable wages and their overtime. Therefore, they should be given proper working gear and their safety must be considered and should always come first. When organization explains to the workers about the benefits they cannot be entitled to due to different logistics, such as paid vacation, it creates mutual trust between the parties. The information gives them the understanding of company's policies and the feeling of discrimination does not arise. This gives workers a sense of belonging. This can lead to better performance, and also workers can promote the image of the company after leaving.
If employers do not handle seasonal workers according to the law, there can be several repercussions in the short and the long term. Some of them can have catastrophic effects on the business and jeopardize its operations. For example, if a worker is injured and it is contributed to the negligence, it can lead to lawsuits, which can result in loss of company's resources in compensation (Wilbur, 1995). Secondly, if the law is not followed to the letter, this can decrease employees' motivation because of lack of sense of belonging. This can lead to low production when workers do not work at their optimal levels, and this can lead to dwindling of profits. It can also lead to inefficiency in the company where workers become stubborn and cannot execute their mandates without direct supervision. Discrimination in the workplace can affect the image of the organization. No company will want to be associated with discrimination of people because of race, age, or sex orientation. In most cases, the market of their products is to the population, hence their negative approach might be scorned upon and to some extent shunned by potential customers. It is, therefore, important for a firm to portray a picture of fairness to all without any kind of discriminations.
The fact that human resource deals with people means that extra attention is generally required. Employees always know they are not the future of the company and in most cases they always feel there is a distinction with the rest of the workers. If in any case the resource management does not get involved in trying to rally them towards common goals, they can easily stray, and this will affect general output levels. Seasonal workers, especially in retail business, are usually employed during the festive season. During this time, there has always been high demand, and their credentials and personality are not usually thoroughly scrutinized. The fact that the job is not permanent always means that there is not much at stake for them. They will just complain to anybody about working conditions or any other negative thing that is happening to all workers generally. This can act as an incitement to permanent workers, and this will eventually affect running operations of the firm. If the organization does not thoroughly screen potential workers, they can hire criminals whom their records may not be appropriate to do some kind of job. If the employee comes in and commits a crime, then it will be coined back to the firm and the regulations they did not adhere to when hiring.
In conclusion, it is possible to argue that human resource management is very important to any organization. Organizations are, therefore, supposed to focus on recruitment of this very important resource. The laws that protect the firm and their workers should be fully implemented in order to avoid unplanned costs, which might occur in terms of compensating victims or the damage control.