Employee Winter Compensation


LawnSite Fanatic
Memphis TN
During the guarantee period let's say for an example that actually happened this summer. Rained out half day on Monday. Due to hard rain and on and off rain towards the end of the week that's all they worked. For those that actually showed up on time for the half work day on Monday, yes they get paid for 40hrs. If "John" no showed or called out on that Monday "John" gets no paycheck for that week. If it rained all week and we couldn't work every one gets paid for 40hrs. If they only work 35 hours but actually showed up every day on time and do not take off early, they too get paid 40hrs. Even though I pay roughly around $14 an hour at the end of the year their actual pay received per hour of work is more around the $18 range (for those that don't call out constantly).


LawnSite Bronze Member
Snowy MN
Obviously you said it wouldn't work for you, but all our techs go on unemployment during winter, we have 2 that plow, they get an hourly rate for that plus healthcare. (They pay $50/month for it, it costs us $330/mo).

grass man 11

LawnSite Bronze Member
This is mainly a question for companies who work year round but probably experience some amount of winter weather. We are definitely a 52 week season here for landscaping, and the market dictates that.
Winter can throw the occasional wrench in that with weeks of 40 degrees and heavy rain which makes some of our work not able to be accomplished.
I'd say for every 40 hour a week guy, the months of November, December, January are gonna be closer to 25 hrs a week on average. Which still feels like fulltime because the daylight hours are so short and nasty.
Few of my guys can live on 25 hours a week, which often leads to winter attrition and loss of the employee right before the spring season. They eventually come back, but usually one or two months too late when the weather gets nice.
I'm trying to come up with a way to keep them from getting cash poor over winter and bailing. Of course besides just handing them extra money for not working, which would probably be a bad precedent to start.

3 months = 12 weeks approx. 25 hours vs 40 = 180 hours. Per guy, at $15 that’s 2700.

$2700 is not honestly much money, especially if it was causing an effect on attrition. You would be better to pay them, rather than let them leave (at least if they are good)

1. I would do anything I can to sell work that can be done in those bad weather off season situations. 40 degrees is nothing, get out and work. When it’s 40below then stay home. Guys doing snow have to put up with wet and cold.

2 . Start spring work early, sell some items that can be done early.

3. Give a deal to clients for off season work.

4. Partner with a construction company for general labor for indoors during your off season

5, pep equipment and do maintenance. I bet I could crawl though your equipment and find lots of hours

6. Pay for training. Make them a better, faster and smart crew. It will not have an immediate pay back, but your spring might run that much sooner.

7, pay them to stay home. It’s still cheaper than loosing a good guy.

8 unemployment

Jonathon Singleton

LawnSite Member
Staying busy in the winter used to be a problem for us even for a small company with 5 full time employees. We have gotten into rental property management for a company that owns about 45 rental units in our town... we always have a house to paint or an issue to fix here and there. Also helps during the rainy days and the hot dry season when mowing slows down.. not sure what the skill level of yourself and guys is. Flipping a house is another idea. If you can find the right deal


LawnSite Member
LaSalle illinois
Doesn’t everyone pay unemployment taxes. That’s what it’s there for. You pay into that throughout the year so u don’t have to pay when it comes time to lay off. In less u guys are all paying cash u should be allowing your guys to go on unemployment for a couple months. Then there making money still and will be happy to start again in the spring.

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