Temporary staff needed

Discussion in 'Employment & HR' started by Simone C., Dec 31, 2017.

  1. Simone C.

    Simone C. UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Hi,
    I am running an online store as a sole trader and this is my second year in the business.
    This is not my main job as I already have a 9 to 5 office job so I can manage to follow the business quite fine as I don't generate too many sales.
    I have my warehouse in a self-storage building and run the admin from home.

    The "problem" is that this year the orders increased by 600% and I really struggled to pack, answer emails and keep up with restocking items, etc. This mainly due to the time I need to spend packing the items.

    My question is:

    Is there a way to hire someone for some hours per day in the most busy periods (2-3 months) a year to help with the manual work?
    How would it work with insurance / salary / taxes? Is there a way to hire some kind of "freelancers" ?

    Thank you very much
    S
     
    Posted: Dec 31, 2017 By: Simone C. Member since: Dec 31, 2017
    #1
  2. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Rather than hiring someone, hire a business.
    Look at fulfilment services. You store some stock with them, you get an order, you provide details to them and they pick, pack and post the order.

    Often they charge a storage fee and it's not cost effective on all stock - but if your bigger / more expensive items were stored at another business with maybe 30 seconds to a minute for manually giving details (quicker if automatic) on each order help maintain your ability to send stuff?

    A site called Tamebay advertises some fulfilment services plus at least a couple of people here do them.
     
    Posted: Dec 31, 2017 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #2
  3. Ray272

    Ray272 UKBF Contributor Free Member

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    Can you outline your storage costs per month and also packaging?

    I was in a similar situation 3 years ago. After factoring adhoc packaging costs and storage my spend was the same as my fulfillment costs and I had less responsibilities in regards packing etc.
     
    Posted: Dec 31, 2017 By: Ray272 Member since: Jul 5, 2017
    #3
  4. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Just offer a set hours three month contract, many women in particular like to work hours whilst their young children are at school or you can screw them with a zero hour contract which i believe should be banned
     
    Posted: Jan 1, 2018 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
    #4
  5. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Even when zero hours contracts preferred?
    Ask a student with assignments due or a carer if they prefer zero hours contracts or fixed hours contracts.
     
    Posted: Jan 1, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #5
  6. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Don't suggest that the student can pick the hours, more often they will refuse twice and never be asked in again so pressured to work hours the bosses want

    Nearly every job can be pre arranged to give constant hours of work with little lose to company, even McDonalds has many years of experience on how busy they will be every hour of the year and the same for most businesses
     
    Posted: Jan 1, 2018 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
    #6
  7. Jeff FV

    Jeff FV UKBF Big Shot Staff Member

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    Supply teaching. Zero hour contracts are perfect for this.

    Until recently, I had the responsibility for "cover" in my department at my school - i.e. when a member of staff was absent, I had to arrange for alternative staff.

    I had a few semi-retired teachers "on my books" - most had taught at the school at some time, i.e. we knew them, they knew us, our rules, routines, systems etc. They'd be DBS (new CRB) checked and given a zero hours contract. Then, as and when I needed them, I'd give them a call and see if they could help. Sometimes I'd get notification at circa 7.30 am that I'd need someone for Period 1 -8.45am - no way that could be planned. They could say no if they wanted (and did!).

    No middle men to take a cut, they got paid the school's rate, we couldn't guarantee hours, but in a big busy school they could be sure of picking up a reasonable amount of work, yet they could still go on holiday in the cheaper term time if they wished. Supply and demand - I needed them more than they needed me.

    Worked well for both parties (school & supply teachers). Had one chap (Physics teacher) who had a place in France - he'd come back to the UK at the end of October half term until the start of the Easter holidays (pretty much as cold, damp & boring in France as UK for those months) knowing he'd pick up enough work to boost his pension.

    The alternative? Book in cover from a supply agency - more expensive (but supply teacher takes home less after agency fees), no idea of who you are going to get or any continuity, but, of course, no zero hours contracts so must be better for all?

    Zero hour contracts are abused in many cases, but they can be beneficial for both parties in some instances.
     
    Posted: Jan 1, 2018 By: Jeff FV Member since: Jan 10, 2009
    #7
  8. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    My brother worked a zero hours contract while at college. Meant he worked less hours when he had assignments and more when he didn't.
    Some employers do recognise that student assignments can impact work availability. Three due in one week and probably not a great idea to work a 50 hour week just then.
    Have had several friends on zero hour contracts long term, have done it myself on occasion to fit in with other jobs.

    A friend down the street has been a carer for his wife for over 30 years, he does a zero hour contract with a local removal company loading the trucks. Days his wife is not so needing of care he can leave her to carers and work a few days. Other times he's with her almost constantly.
     
    Posted: Jan 1, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
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  9. Newchodge

    Newchodge UKBF Big Shot Free Member

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    There is absolutely nothing wrong with zero hours contracts that are run properly and professionally. Employers who use 'zero hours contracts' to control and abuse staff are the problem. Unfortunately they are the majority. Tesco, for example, and many others, know how many staff they need on what days. They can give staff contracts for those days. Instead they prefer to use 'zero hours contracts'. which, legally are almost certainly not zero hours contracts, so they can control and abuse their staff.
     
    Posted: Jan 1, 2018 By: Newchodge Member since: Nov 8, 2012
    #9
  10. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    OK so Tesco know how many staff are needed on what days. Can they give you a contract requiring you to work say 20 hours for 3 weeks of the month and 35 hours for say 7 days?
    Or how about they give you a contract for one week a month to do certain days of the month. You happy with that?
     
    Posted: Jan 1, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #10
  11. ethical PR

    ethical PR UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Your comments unfortunately just make you sound a little ridiculous.

    As you know @Newchodge is a qualified employment law and HR professional.

    I know who I would rather listen to, when it comes to employment contract issues.
     
    Posted: Jan 1, 2018 By: ethical PR Member since: Apr 19, 2009
    #11
  12. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    I will happily listen to Cyndy on employment and HR. I have great respect for her professional views.

    Hence me asking the questions from someone I expect should be able to give me an answer.

    If a big company like Tesco that knows how many staff are needed at any one time were to stop doing zero hour contracts what sort of contracts should they give to provide the staff level necessary?
     
    Posted: Jan 1, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #12
  13. Employment Law Clinic

    Employment Law Clinic UKBF Big Shot Full Member - Verified Business

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    Without wishing to drag this thread into a pros/cons of zero-hours (the views are already available on here), I disagree with Cyndy (@Newchodge).


    Tesco was cited as an example. But is it going to be exceptionally sunny & warm next week? Might Tesco find it has a high demand for barbeque products? (Probably not, but unpredictable things happen.)

    How far will England progress in the World Cup later this year? With only a few days between stages, how does any supermarket know in advance how much demand there will be for alcohol or party food?

    There are many, many nuances that influence how a supermarket trades, what stock it fills its shelves with, and when, and they can't all be predicted far in advance.


    20 years ago, the trade unions were arguing for flexible working, promoting the fact such a working-relationship offered benefits to employers too. Now employers see (and avail of) a particular benefit, they’re criticised for it.

    Zero-hours contracts are not by their nature exploitative, but work for both parties. Either party that wants to take advantage of a good thing will look for ways to do so.


    And for those that suggest some have no option but to work what hours are worked, and that zero-hours are not really zero-hours (something I’ve often argued in individual examples), there are tribunals available to determine these issues.






    I consider Cyndy to be extremely capable, but there is more than one opinion relating to zero-hours contracts, and I think it would be ridiculous to think otherwise.


    Obviously some people may think they’re morally wrong, or be taken in with another argument against them. No reason why people shouldn’t object to them, but opposing them outright, personally & professionally I think is wrong – not a universally agreed view.



    Karl Limpert`
     
    Posted: Jan 1, 2018 By: Employment Law Clinic Member since: Aug 10, 2009
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  14. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Back to the original point the OP raised.

    If going for having staff for a period of time there are at least 2 options down that route.
    Recruit and pay them yourself. Or use an agency.
     
    Posted: Jan 2, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #14
  15. Newchodge

    Newchodge UKBF Big Shot Free Member

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    Karl There is no reason why Tesco cannot give its staff permanent contracts based on the number of hours they know are needed, whether that is 10, 15, 25 or 35. And then ask them to do overtime at flat rate if they need additional hours. They can even require, in those contracts, that staff must work 5, 10, 15, whatever hours overtime, if asked. That gives stability for the staff, even at a low level, and flexibility for the employer.
     
    Posted: Jan 2, 2018 By: Newchodge Member since: Nov 8, 2012
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  16. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    And if Tesco know that staff are not required the same number of hours each week?
    And if they know that staff are required the same number of hours each week then the zero hours contract staff get the same hours each week and there is no problem.

    The current system provides flexibility for the employer. The flexibility required now is it the same as 50 years ago?
     
    Posted: Jan 2, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #16
  17. Employment Law Clinic

    Employment Law Clinic UKBF Big Shot Full Member - Verified Business

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    I really cannot see any attraction with this approach: the staff have stability, as long as they can be available to work compulsory overtime, possibly with short notice. If they can’t work this contractually-required overtime, I assume they would be face disciplinary action, perhaps be dismissed?


    Zero-hour contracts provides flexibility for the employee: “there’s some work available in a couple of days time, and you can have a shift if you want it” (flexibility for the staff), seems better than “you have to work overtime in a couple of days, it’s in your contract” (no flexibility for the staff).


    Karl Limpert
     
    Posted: Jan 2, 2018 By: Employment Law Clinic Member since: Aug 10, 2009
    #17
  18. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Mr D

    For students you may have a point in being flexible but for large operations is very one sides against the employee
    They have no regular wage coming in so things like mortgages loans the wages are not taken into consideration, they are often used by large agency type job posts where its just used as a slave labour type operation like Amazon and sports direct or something similar.

    For years companies have managed well without zero hours and giving employees the dignity they deserve of fixed hours contracts with overtime as required
     
    Posted: Jan 2, 2018 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
    #18
  19. Employment Law Clinic

    Employment Law Clinic UKBF Big Shot Full Member - Verified Business

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    Just because an incompetent manager suggests something is a zero-hours contract, doesn't make it so. Many of these contracts that are described as zero-hours are simply not.

    Compulsory overtime - when you're required to work it - isn't always easy to accommodate for a single parent, but as long as they have the security of a job for the purposes of a mortgage application, who cares about the fact the mortgage is probably beyond them, and if they don't work overtime when required, they could be dismissed? At least the theory is they had a regular small payslip to support a mortgage application in theory.o_O


    Karl Limpert
     
    Posted: Jan 2, 2018 By: Employment Law Clinic Member since: Aug 10, 2009
    #19
  20. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    So is the problem the temp agencies or the zero hour contracts by the big companies?
    Take a big company like amazon. Say a thousand staff on one site plus say 500 temps.
    The staff employed by the company can have whatever contract - part time, full time etc and any slack can be taken up by using more or less temp workers.

    Those wanting a mortgage or loan there are plenty of non-zero contract jobs going. Not everyone wants those.



    Yes for years companies managed well without zero hour contracts. They also managed well without computers but would you suggest any new company these days never use a computer?
     
    Posted: Jan 2, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #20