What do you do with your employees in the "off-season"??

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by merrimacmill, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 515

    What are you guys in the more "seasonal areas" doing with your employees in the off season?(winter)

    Now this is besides plowing snow. We are getting ready to hire a part time employee for our grounds maintenance division, but I don't know what to tell applicants about the off season. Is it just considered a seasonable job? and you call them in for plowing as needed? Or do they just come in during the winter anyways on their normal working hours and you find stuff for them to do untill its time to plow snow?

    Thanks for any info,

  2. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    I let them collect unemployment, but encourage them to find other work until spring.
  3. pinto n mwr

    pinto n mwr LawnSite Senior Member
    from gr8, mn
    Posts: 422

    depends on how your company is setup.

    if they can plow snow then think about keeping them on full time full year.

    putting someone on unejoyment and still needing them for snow can work too, but be careful because sometimes they will not show up.
  4. Lawn-Sharks

    Lawn-Sharks LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 912

    In florida during winter a lot of LCO's will let their guys go and do all the work them selves and make a bigger profit for the year.
  5. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 515

    Ya, I plow snow during the winter. The maintenance guy that helps me plow is going away to college in the fall so whoever I hire for the lawn care division will need to plow snow. Especially since by time winter comes around, we're planning on adding another truck. Our set up is going to be a little different than most loc's are. We're already an established pm company, but we're going to expand into the lawn care end of things to help diversify incomes. So I'm going to need to hire an employee who is a "solo guy". Then when he gets to the point of running out of time to complete all accounts, instead of extending his part time hours, I will hire another crew member for him to cut the time at each account down.

    I just don't know what to tell them to do in the winter. I mean I'm sure I could find other stuff for them to do around our building all winter, like building maintenance stuff, but then I would need to pay extra guys that aren't really required for maintenance all winter long.
  6. silentbob

    silentbob LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 27

    In NJ, you can have a full-time employee during the season and then let them collect unemployment in the winter. If they need to come in to plow, all they do is notify the unemployment office of what hours they worked and how much they made. They don't get penalized for working. Their balance on their unemployment benefit just extends an additional amount of time.

    So if they had a total benefit of $5,000 over 16 weeks and worked and made $500, they would still be eligible for the full $5,000 it would just be extended by an extra 2 weeks (or whatever the calculation is). Unless they returned to work full-time, then their benefit stops.
  7. salandscape

    salandscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 168

    They can hang out with my employees in the winter and sit around doing nothing, then they'll be surprised when you call and say it's going to snow!

    Just lay them off, make sure they know that snow work isn't optional so that if they have a winter job you still come first. If you don't come first they don't have a summer job.
  8. Team-Green L&L

    Team-Green L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    I like to avoid unemployment claims like this:

    If a worker has been on the team for 6 months of the season:

    A foreman receives a $3000.00 Gift Card Christmas bonus or an all-expense vacation and $1000 in spending money.

    A laborer receives $500.00 Christmas bonus and $1000.00 in bill reimbursement. We pay the gas/electric during the off-season.

    These bonuses are dependent upon an "agreement" that they will be financially self-dependent during the off-season.

    I also ask a lot of questions at the interview to screen for people who are capable of finding seasonal sales positions during the winter.
  9. bill8379

    bill8379 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 778

    around here you're only allowed to make $50 a month then unemployment will take off dollar for dollar. So NOBODY shows up, and why would they?
  10. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,207

    We are putting our workers on salary......which means we have to find jobs in the winter so we try to get landscape, irrigation installs, or tree trimming or just about anythign we can find. If your guys collect unemployment doesn't that drive up workman comp prices?>

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