The Difference Between Casual and Temporary Staff

3rd Jul, 2020 | Resources

As an employer, not understanding the key difference between casual and temporary staff can mean the difference between immediate relief or drowning in unnecessary administration and paperwork.

Every year thousands of businesses–particularly in the hospitality, events and retail industries, face quite dramatic seasonal peaks and troughs in business demand.

This means the number of employees required to support the business also greatly fluctuates, presenting challenges in recruitment and staff retention.

As a result, businesses are often left short staffed or they undertake large recruitment drives that take months of preparation, interviewing and paperwork to hire staff they really only need over the Christmas period.

A question we’re seeing savvy businesses ask themselves when the time to hire new staff comes around, is, “Do I need to hire and onboard casual staff? Or can I simply hire temporary staff for the short duration of work they are required for.”

Before you make this decision, it’s important that you understand the key differences between both a temp and casual worker, and work out the best solution for your business.


The definition of a casual employee

Fair Work describes a casual employee as a worker who:

  • Has no contractual guaranteed hours of work
  • Usually works irregular hours
  • Doesn’t accrue sick or annual leave
  • Can end employment without notice

However, if your casual works a consistent amount of hours over a 12 month period, they may be eligible for Casual Conversion.

The benefits of hiring a casual means you have ownership of the process of recruitment and performance management. You also get the benefit of the same team member returning, reducing the need for repeated training and retaining your IP in comparison to if you were to hire a number of temps.


The definition of a temporary employee

A temporary employee (also known as a temp or seasonal worker) is usually contracted to a business via a third party staffing provider who is responsible for the recruitment, performance and management of a pool of individuals.

Businesses hire temps because of the convenience of getting assistance last minute or the ability to scale their teams for a busy period without having to interview and onboard a significant number of staff who will only be with them for a short period of time. A temporary employee does not enter into any contractual agreement with the business they do the work for.

Both temporary and casual staff in the hospitality, events and promotional marketing industry often come from similar backgrounds. Most temp workers are young travellers, students, freelancers or recent graduates and the flexibility of this work suits them well.


The difference between casuals and temps?

Simply put, casual employees are employed by you and temporary workers are employed by a staffing provider.

Casual staff, like temporary workers, are paid hourly and don’t earn anything when they are on holiday. However, hiring casual staff means taking on the time-consuming process of advertising the job, screening, and interviewing applicants. You will also have to set up payroll, withholding tax, and insurance.

A big risk of hiring a casual, especially for just a short period of time, is that they turn up for one shift and they’re never heard from again.

With temp staff, the recruitment process, paperwork, payment, and general employer obligations are all handled by the staffing provider, so you can have someone on the clock in a matter of hours. All with very little effort on your part.

And with features like talent pools available with an online staffing solution like Sidekicker, you get the added benefit of saving your favourite staff to a pool so it’s easy to re-hire them over and over again.

The best part is, if you find someone that you simply must have in your team, you can hire them as an employee.

At Sidekicker, we call this Smart Hire. For a small fee, we can help you transition your favourite temp worker onto your books.

Ultimately, it comes down to one simple question. What is your time worth?

Most people would agree that the small hourly fee charged for temporary staff hire has an immediate return on investment. The hours spent on recruiting, training and setting up casual staff certainly add up.

There’s a rising need for dependable staff with a short turnaround. The security of having pre-interviewed, qualified staff quickly on hand is why temporary workers have become the solution for many of Australia’s leading business. Are you among them?