View Full Version : Year-round employee question

08-26-2005, 11:48 PM
Has anyone made attempts to keep employees year-round rather than just for the mowing season? It would seem to me that it would be greatly beneficial, both to the employer and the employee, to have permanent workers. For the LCO we benefit from keeping a good worker from year-to-year and save time not having to go through the interview process as often.

But of course, if the business is primarily mowing, there will be little work during the winter. I'm in Texas so there is no snow work and I do little landscaping.

I've never had an employee except for my oldest son but he'll be joining the Navy next month. I plan to hire maybe 2 employees next year and then more the following year.

Today I was thinking of a way to keep people on through the winter. I was thinking of shutting down maybe from Thanksgiving to early January. Perhaps I could still provide them with a paycheck or two during this time by holding some of their earnings back from earlier in the season. Then in January and February I would try to obtain as much work from my existing customers as I could by doing branch trimming, flowerbed work, applying top dressings and mulch, etc. I could also have them do 1000s of flyers in late February.

Do you think something like this is plausible or does it work with not too much hassle to just hire employees in early March, let them go at the end of the season, and then stat again.

Take care & thanks for your help.

08-26-2005, 11:54 PM
Hey Jerry,

I know several people who keep their employees year round. Some hold back the o/t and others pay a nominal amount as a good faith gesture. I have a question for you to consider. What about laying them off and let them collect unemployment against your company? Since it is seasonal business, they could collect unemployment for 8-10 weeks (estimated). Your experience rating will increase for the next year, but the real consideration is whether your new experience rating (x) next year's payroll is more, or less than the cost of paying your guys through the winter. What do you think?

08-27-2005, 12:04 AM
On My Own:

Maybe unemployment would be a good way to solve the problem. I'm pretty inexperienced in how that is done but I could look into it. I'll try to find out how much I would contribute to their unemployment check so that I can see if this would be a good alternative.

Are you saying that once you do this then the employer would have to pay more towards unemployment in subsequent years?

Thanks for your help.

08-27-2005, 12:17 AM

The max UI compensation in Texas is just over $300.00 per week - PRE-TAX. That is by no means a living wage. That is paid to unempolyed folks who made a lot more than we can pay our workers. I do not have the exact number but the UI compensation for someone who made $9.00 per hour is closer to $200.00 per week.

Hope this helps as you ponder.


08-27-2005, 12:23 AM
Thanks Thill.

I'll still need to look into how much I, as the employer would pay. For example, if the employee gets $200 I wonder what percentage of that the employer kicks in and how much the state does.

08-27-2005, 02:02 AM

You pay unemployment tax based on the wages you pay - quarterly. The entry rate is 1.70% of wages ,for the first $7,000 in gross wages, for each employee. That rate goes up or down based on your UI claims history. Your 3 year rolling history of amount of tax paid in verses UI claims paid out establishes the tax rate you pay. It is recalculated annually.

Our rate is curretnly 0.58%.

When unemployment insurance kicks in, the state fund pays all compensatiion to the individual.


08-27-2005, 02:07 AM

Take a look at htpp://www.texasworkforce.org (http://www.texasworkforce.com)

08-27-2005, 09:36 AM

Thanks for all the help. I'll look at that web site. By the way, from the look of your tag line we mow pretty close to each other. Most of my customers are in Cedar Park, some in Leander and some in NW Austin.

Take care.

08-27-2005, 08:51 PM

Yup, we run the the same circles, and there is plenty of room for all of us. Business is good.

PM me if you wanna swap email addresses and phone numbers. We may be able to help each other from time to time.


08-27-2005, 09:35 PM

I tried to send a PM but couldn't. The message said that I didn't have access to that feature. Maybe I haven't posted enough messages yet.

Anyway, my email is scheider6@yahoo.com.

There could be occasions when we could help each other out. Last month I got a call from a guy in Round Rock who was referred to me by his co-worker whose lawn I do in Cedar Park. I had to turn it down since the drive didn't make sense for me. Those cases aren't real frequent but give me your name & number and in the future I'll pass it on.

Take care