Employees/Off-season/ Claiming unemployment

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by TMlawncare, Oct 26, 2006.

  1. TMlawncare

    TMlawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,199

    I got a full-time employee that will be heading into the off-season. In my area we can keep pretty busy thru December. Jan/Feb/March are awful except for the occasional snow. We pay unemployment tax on him. Should we have him to file for those three months? We contacted the local unemployment office and they said that if we send in a letter giving him a startback date of April 1 he wouldn't have to seek employment during off season. If we need him a few times for snow removal or such he just calls in and reports his hours. I know our unemployment rate goes up if he draws but they said the maximum rate is 9% we are currently at 3%. Heck even if it triples it would be less costly then paying him salary through the winter months. This sounds like something we should all look into during the off season. What are you guys finding out?
  2. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Do you want him for next year? If so, I would take care of him. If not, he's very liable to be working another (full time - year round) job in the spring. I think if he worked for you for the season, he earned it.
  3. Birdhunter1

    Birdhunter1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 312

    I've never been on the employer side of this but I have been on the employee side of the coin before. Granted that was 6 years ago but since my employer gave a start back date I didn't have to seek employment and I was able to work part time. That was only for 1 1/2 months though in the late part of winter as a sheetmetal worker.
  4. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,941

    I know a small contractor in a different kind of business, but doing residential home services. He had a couple of full-time employees, but when business dropped off during the Winter months, he laid them off. He was able to keep pace with the business himself. They collected unemployment money during their "off time."

    The next year, his unemployment insurance rates skyrocketed! He was unaware of the consequences. The next year, he scrounged for some work for them, but kept them on the payroll. He was unable to keep them busy, but kept paying them. His conclusion was it was cheaper to keep them on the payroll through the lean months, rather than paying much higher unemployment insurance rates. His experience was that by the laid-off employees collecting for a few months, his insurance rates changed significantly.

    Now, how to find what impact your rates might have if you laid them off, I don't know. However, it might be something you wish to check out before making a decision on what to do.
  5. The Captain

    The Captain LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 607

    First, call your accountant. If you are in business and don't have one, you should. (They will pay for themselves.) Get solid payroll and tax figures. Then check with the Missouri office of employment after you've got the complete salary picture. Weigh the costs vs benefits as they apply to your business. The costs may not be as bad as first seems. If I remember correctly each state and occupation is taxed different.

Share This Page