Aug 6, 2023

Overcoming HR Challenges in Managing Casual Workers in the UK: A Guide for Employers

Casual workers are a growing segment of the workforce in the UK, with a reported 1.7 million people working in temporary or casual employment in 2019, according to the Office for National Statistics. However, despite their popularity, employers must overcome several HR challenges to manage this segment of their workforce effectively.

Lack of job security

A survey conducted by the Resolution Foundation found that more than 40% of casual workers felt they did not have a stable job, with many feeling insecure about their future with the company. This can lead to high turnover rates and decreased job satisfaction, negatively impacting productivity and morale. To mitigate this, employers should provide clear and open communication about the nature of the job, what the expectations are, and what opportunities are available for growth and development. Offering casual workers the option to transition to a permanent role if they have proven to be a valuable asset to the company can provide stability and security.

Difficulties with scheduling:

Scheduling casual workers can be challenging, with many employers needing help finding a balance between ensuring they are available and giving them the flexibility to take time off. A study by the Trades Union Congress found that 44% of casual workers reported difficulty in arranging time off, which can lead to increased stress and decreased job satisfaction. To overcome this, employers should use scheduling software to manage their workforce in real time and offer flexible working arrangements, such as part-time or remote work, to help manage scheduling demands.

Determining pay and benefits:

Casual workers are often not entitled to the same pay and benefits as permanent employees, which can lead to confusion and frustration. A survey conducted by the Trade Union Congress found that 70% of casual workers reported not receiving paid sick leave, and 75% reported not receiving paid annual leave. To ensure compliance and reduce confusion, employers should be transparent about what pay and benefits are available and consider offering flexible benefits packages that can be tailored to each worker's needs. Providing access to pension schemes, holiday pay, and health insurance can provide stability and security for your casual workers.

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Ensuring compliance with labour laws:

The same labour laws cover casual workers as permanent employees, but many employers must be aware of their obligations. A study conducted by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service found that over 30% of employers were unaware of their responsibilities under UK employment law. Regular training and support for HR professionals can ensure compliance and avoid costly legal disputes.

Managing training and development:

Providing training and development opportunities for casual workers can take time, as they may need access to the same resources as permanent employees. A Learning and Work Institute survey found that only 54% of casual workers reported receiving any training in the last 12 months, compared to 68% of permanent employees. To overcome this, employers should provide ongoing training and support for their casual workers and encourage them to take advantage of opportunities for advancement. Offering on-the-job training, access to online courses, or opportunities to attend workshops and conferences can foster a culture of continuous learning and development within the organisation.

In conclusion, the growing trend of casual workers in the UK brings various HR challenges, but these challenges can be overcome with the right approach. By providing clear communication, flexible working arrangements, comprehensive benefits packages, and opportunities for growth and development, employers can create a positive and productive working environment for their casual workers.

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