Paying workers for 40 hrs when it rains a lot.

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Marzett, Feb 25, 2005.

  1. Marzett

    Marzett LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    This is the first time I've tried hiring crews to do the work. My question is this: These guys obviously expect 40 hours a week but don't want to work weekends so what do I do when it rains several days? I figure if it rains once in the week then the hours can be made up on Saturday, but what if it's more than a day of rain? Do I just say "oh well" and pay the guys for hours worked and blame mother nature?
  2. westwind

    westwind LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 444

    never pay an employee for hours not worked. the lawn care industry is not a "set" schedule, they need to understand that. good luck!
  3. Indydirtfarmer

    Indydirtfarmer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    Unless you're flushed with cash, they get paid for what hours they work. :dizzy:

    Do YOU get paid when it's too wet to work? :rolleyes:

    In a perfect world, we could all be "the perfect boss", and give our employees every concievable break. But it's a VERY competitive world. You can't give away what is yours. Give 'em the option of working weekends to make up for "short days", and consider that your contribution to their paycheck. payup
  4. Tn Lawn Man

    Tn Lawn Man LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 479

    Try this schedule set up and see if this helps:

    Mo-Th work 10 hour days.

    If rain hits then don't work that day and replace that day with working on Friday. If it rains two of those days then work Friday and Saturday. You get 40hrs easier that way.

    Also, if the weather is good then you get a 3 day weekend.
  5. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 8,931

    To get good people you are going to have guarrantee at least a 40 hour work week all year around. It may rain for an entire week for all you know. It may rain friday and saturday and Sunday.
    If you want people who can afford to sit home several days a week with no pay then you are going to get people with not much going for them.
    This is the main problem with the lawn care biz in terms of retaining quality employees.
    A good hard working person with his/her own transportation is going to require steady work/income. You are going to have to give up some of what is "yours" to retain them. Good people who sit at home with no pay get antsy and start looking for steady pay. This is why the lco biz has a high turnover employee rate.
  6. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,275

    As an Ex L/Scaper myself....

    I had to drive an hour to work and if it was raining, wasn't payed squat! After a year the boss came around (after complaining from me) we got payed for our travel time. Usually $20. This was very early 90's.

    Think of it this way, it costs your employees money to go to work. Why should they rock up and its called a rain day and go home with nothing in there pockets. They dont just wake up and magically appear at work. It costs them petty (fuel) money, food (lunch) and they've probably been awake getting ready for work at least an hour before they even leave for work! An 8hr day for them is more like 10-11hrs!

    All thats gotta be worth something.

    As an employer, you'd be a sh!t to not give them something for the effort of at least rocking up!

    Thats my opinion from being where your employees are!

    A Good employee is worth a few extra $$$ to keep happy.

    Why do employees come and go, cos the boss's are greedy and dont look after the people that make the money!!

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    The best bosses are those that can strike a balance between getting the work done, and keeping the hired help happy.

    Like someone mentioned, maybe you can condense the schedule into fewer, longer days. If that's not a possibility, just be clear with them that a rainout means Saturday work. Hopefully the lazy ones will weed themselves out.
  8. j fisher

    j fisher LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 294

    Anyone know the laws on straight salaries? I'm considering a straight salary pay. If they get the days work done by 3 o'clock, they get off early. They may put in 6 hrs. today, but 10 tommorow. My problem with hourly pay is goof off time. They put in 8 hours, but only do 8 jobs, when I know they could have done 12.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    Fisher- from what I've read, salaried positions are supposed to be only for executive/administrative type jobs. Any employee that performs regular lawn work would not qualify for salary, at least from what I've read on the subject.
  10. Mountain Peak

    Mountain Peak LawnSite Member
    Messages: 203

    Hoolie is correct. There are labor laws in place that dictate who can or can not have salary.

    The best thing I was ever taught by my mentors is that when you make people, they make you money. If you at least give your guys a couple hours on a rainy day it really makes moral higher. Have them do some minor catch up on maintenance for a few hours. There is always some cleaning or something that needs to be done.

    Take care of your people and they will take care of you.

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