It’s that time of year again where businesses gear up for their busiest period. For many retail establishments, hiring Christmas casual staff is the only way to get through this increased workload effectively. It’s also the time when many teenagers get their first job.
It can be tempting to let things slide when work life is busy but it’s important for business managers to continue to follow good employment practises even during the Silly Season.
Know your Obligations
For example, pay rates, award conditions, entitlements, how many hours the young person can legally work, workplace safety and so on.
If you are thinking of employing young people under the age of 15 years, then the regulations vary from state to state. In most states, there are strict rules on the type of employment they may participate in and how many hours they can work and when. See list at end of article for State by State regulations.
Put it in Writing
Ensure you provide the new staff member with their Fair Work Information Statement and put a written Casual Employment agreement in place.
Let them know the procedures for calling in late or sick, explain workplace safety, mobile phone use, who they should talk to if they have any workplace issues.
Providing written information (eg Workplace Policy) reduces the likelihood of misunderstandings and ensures you are adhering to workplace regulations.
Don’t just throw them in at the deep end.
A young person starting their first job will be unsure and will not always understand immediately what is expected of them. Treat new staff courteously, explain what is expected and encourage open communication so that they will ask questions when they don’t know something.
You are trusting this individual to represent your business so give them the help they need so they can help you to the best of their ability.
Orientation is essential
Ideally new staff have been orientated before the rush begins but if you have unexpectedly had to employ more staff, take the time to induct them correctly. If you as the manager can’t do it yourself, delegate the task to a trusted senior staff member. Taking the time to do this out of normal business hours may be the solution if time is scarce.
Download the FWO’s Guide to Employing Young People