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Christmas casual HR checklist: Onboarding new hires

Onboarding full-time or permanent staff is a very different story to onboarding casual staff. With full-timers, you’ll likely be able to take the onboarding process quite slowly. They could reasonably spend over a week doing a handover with another staff member, undertaking training and just generally getting their bearings in a new role.

For casual staff members, you’ll be bypassing a lot of those formalities and working at a much faster pace. However, onboarding should still be an easy, effortless experience.

Our checklist gives you a list of simple and achievable tasks that you can complete to give your new employee the best possible start at your company. These tasks range from ones that can be completed before their first day, to follow up activities that you can complete after their first week in the role.

Download the checklist by filling out the form.

Why do companies hire Christmas casuals?

Most companies will find that they have peak periods where they’re busier than normal. In sectors such as retail, hospitality and tourism, the summer holiday period is often their peak and the need for additional employees can become pressing very, very quickly. That’s not even factoring in the possibility of additional employees on leave for the Christmas period, New Year and other seasonal holidays. Any employee on leave needs cover, and that can quickly cause issues if operations are already pretty hectic.

Casual employees can be a great solution to this issue. You can bring in staff to cover those gaps and have extra hands over the busy period.

Hiring seasonal and casual employees is also a good opportunity to create a talent pipeline of potential full-time employees further down the line, should you lose existing employees or experience business growth. With tried and tested casual employees waiting in the wings, you can be confident if they come on board as permanent members of the team.

Do you need a different award and agreement when hiring casual employees?

Under awards and agreements, casual employees are paid a casual loading (a higher pay rate for being a casual employee), or a specific pay rate for being a casual employee.

For more information on minimum award rates for casual employees, check out the Fair Work Pay and Conditions Tool.

What Australian law should employers keep in mind when hiring Christmas casuals?

According to the Fair Work Act, a person is a casual employee if:

  • They are offered a job.
  • The offer does not include a firm advance commitment that the work will continue indefinitely with an agreed pattern of work.
  • They accept the offer knowing that there is no firm advance commitment and become an employee.

Employers need to provide their casual employees with the Casual Employment Information Statement before, or as soon as possible after, they start their new job.

Employee entitlements

Under the National Employment Standards (NES), casual employees are entitled to:

  • Access to a pathway to become a permanent employee
  • Two days unpaid carer’s leave per occasion
  • Two days compassionate leave per occasion
  • Paid family and domestic violence leave
  • Unpaid community service leave

Casual employees can request flexible working arrangements and take unpaid parental leave if:

  • They have been employed by their employer as a casual employee on a regular and systematic basis over at least 12 months.
  • They reasonably expect to continue being employed by the employer on a regular and systematic basis.

Casual employees are not entitled to paid days off, notice of termination or redundancy pay, even if they work regularly for a long time.

How can employers retain high-performing seasonal hires for future holiday seasons?

So much of the likelihood of casual employees returning for future peak seasons depends on the experience that you, as the employer, gives them. Are you prioritising employee experience in your company? If you’re not yet, now is as good a time as any to start.

The employee experience refers to the entire experience throughout the employee lifecycle, right from the initial attraction stage as a candidate, all the way through to offboarding. Areas including the hiring process, onboarding, training and development, career growth, employee benefits, culture, and more, are just some of the factors that help shape an employee’s perception of your business.

For a casual employee, that entire lifecycle is fast-tracked. Their recruitment and onboarding experience should be smooth, their time to settle in should be short and the culture should be welcoming. When their employment ends for the season, they should come away with a great impression of the company too. How you say goodbye can be as important as how you welcome an employee, after all.

For more information about creating a fantastic employee experience, download our complete guide here.

Manage new employees from onboarding to payroll

First impressions count. Employment Hero completely digitises the onboarding experience, so your new employee can spend their first day getting stuck into their role without a pile of HR documents to sign.

In just a few clicks, a new employee can complete their own employee files electronically with Employment Hero before they even walk through the door. Our handy digital checklists will also ensure that you don’t miss a single onboarding task, from critical payroll details to visa checks.

Keen to find out more? Book a demo with our specialists today!

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