Preparing for the seasonal rush

Business Link have identified this as Gareth Sear, a Business Link adviser says: “Ensuring that a business has access to the right number of people with the right skills to successfully service customers during this time is not easy, but there is plenty of help out there.  I urge businesses to phone the Business Link help line (0845 600 9 006) or visit the website (www.businesslink.gov.uk) if they need quick and easy access to authoritative, impartial help and advice on issues such as ensuring that they meet their obligations as an employer.”

There are a range of employment options for businesses affected by the Christmas rush. These include:

  • Recruiting temporary workers through an agency
  • Engaging employees on fixed-term contracts
  • Getting family and friends to help out at weekends and during school or college breaks
  • Extending the hours of part-time workers who may be able to ease the pressure at particularly busy times (and may want the extra money)
  • Outsourcing some business activities.

Business Link has dedicated an entire section (www.businesslink.co.uk) and Gareth Sear continues, “It’s helpful to provide schedules well in advance so staff can plan their lives around them.  Employers shouldn’t assume that staff know when the busiest periods are; tell them, and consider offering incentives such as overtime payments or productivity bonuses.  When things are really busy stress levels may increase, which can be made worse by new inexperienced staff, so reward success and hold team events to keep morale high.”

Karen Hanton of restaurant booking website toptable.com agrees:   “The scale of the Christmas rush can be a real shock to businesses, particularly those who’ve had a challenging year.  Business Link is a great resource when you need access to quick authoritative information.  They can help with all aspects of employing seasonal workers from the legal and HR aspects of recruitment, to statutory pay and holiday rates.  And the advice is free.”

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