Casual employees (otherwise known as zero hour workers) are referred to as “on call” or there for “piece work”. If you work in hospitality, events or retail it is likely that you will hire multiple casual employees to accommodate for busy periods or when your usually enrolled staff are unavailable for work.
When you are dealing with casual employees, it can be tricky to keep track of schedules and hours worked. People on zero hour contracts are still covered under the Working Time Directive (WTD) which says that employees cannot work over 48 hours per week on average so it’s vital to use a management system to monitor all your casual employees. This average is usually taken over a period of 17 weeks depending on the job.
Using digital tools for shift allocation removes the need for manual timesheets, which can be both time-consuming and confusing to manage, especially with a lot of casual workers. Allocating shifts to your casual employees using software enables you to see all the casual staff available and ensure that the right people with the right skills are working at the right times. For this to work effectively, you will need to know employee’s availability, skills and other criteria so you can make sure the shifts you have will be adequately completed.
A schedule optimisation solution can then automatically allocate shifts for you and even start to calculate the labour demand. They can take into account variables like time of year, day of the week, historical demand and even the weather!
Employee Self Service
To keep track of the hours your casual employees are available, let them enter the data themselves using Employee Self Service (ESS). This gives your employees the control, using the online or mobile app to declare their availability, request leave or view hours worked. This then feeds in to your payroll system, reducing the number of post-payroll queries.
Bidding for additionally available shifts gives your casual workers the option to increase their hours, and allows you to fill schedules at short notice. As the employer, you can publish unfilled shifts, selecting the type of employee you wish to make them available to i.e. casual, bank, full time or part time staff. The system automatically knows the best fit employee based on their availability and skill and then, through the Employee Self Service (ESS) portal, employees can bid for additional shifts, increasing their hours if they wish to.
Casual employees are defined as workers by the Government and are therefore entitled to statutory annual leave (also known as leave accrual). This can be a labour-intensive task to calculate, especially when managing lots of casual workers. However, some automated systems can calculate holiday entitlement, including leave accrual, automatically which allows employees to view remaining holiday and request holiday themselves through ESS. This allows people to request holiday more easily and increases overall engagement and morale.