Tips to hiring Christmas casuals

Cartoon: male sales staff with Christmas hat on in a panic

As small businesses in your local area prepare for the end-of-year rush, they may need to take on more staff to get through the busy season.

Share the following tips from the Fair Work Ombudsman(FWO) with your local businesses to ensure things run smoothly and prevent issues down the track.

  • Clarify expectations and entitlements upfront to prevent misunderstandings. Give all new starters a letter of offer with their status (full-time, part-time or casual), the award or enterprise agreement that applies and their rate of pay. FWO has done all the work for you by creating these free letter templates.
  • Employees need to be paid at least the minimum wage in their award or enterprise agreement. They can’t be paid a lower rate, even if they agree to it. If your business doesn’t have an enterprise agreement, FWO’s Pay Calculator can help you work out the correct rates for your Christmas casuals.
  • Keep good records to help in the event of a dispute. This includes recording pay, hours of work, superannuation and leave. And don’t forget to issue pay slips within one day of pay day.
  • The holiday period might be busy but employees still need breaks. Make sure you know your award or enterprise agreement’s rules for breaks because overtime rates may apply if they don’t get them.
  • Extended trading hours can mean longer shifts. Your award or enterprise agreement will have rules for when overtime/penalty rates apply and what you need to do to change an employee’s usual roster. It’s particularly important to check this before asking part-timers to increase their hours.

The FWO’s Guide to hiring new employees is a great tool that gives step-by-step guidance on the hiring process.