Some industries have peak seasons, so it is more than understandable that seasonal employees are needed to deal with demand. If this applies to your business then it is important that you understand seasonal employment rights, and this blog post will give you an idea of what they are!


The first thing you need to do is decide whether you want an employee or a worker, as this difference will determine their legal rights. Basically, workers are not entitled to the following, while employees are:

  • Written terms and conditions of their employment
  • Provided employment protection in case of transfer of business
  • Family rights (such as maternity/paternity/adoption leave)
  • Legal notice period before termination of employment
  • Protection against unfair dismissal (after one year’s service)
  • Statutory unemployment pay (after two years’ service)


On the other hand, both workers and employees are entitled to these rights:

  • National minimum wage
  • Paid rest breaks and annual leave
  • Rights against discrimination in terms of race, age, disability and/or gender.

According to the Employment Standard Act, employers do not have to provide termination to a seasonal employee if:

  • They are employed for a definite amount of time, with a termination date mentioned when employment started
  • They are hired to accomplish a specific project and are aware of the discontinuation of their employment


Additionally, it should be known that the Human Rights Code and Workers’ Compensation Act applies to seasonal employees as well. This means that while you may be under no obligation to rehire seasonal employees, you cannot not rehire seasonal employees on the basis of any kind of discrimination, or you could face a complaint under the Human Rights Code.


I hope this blog post has given you an idea of some seasonal employment rights, and how they can affect you when hiring this type of worker. If you need help with interviewing potential seasonal workers then check out our free interview cheat sheet:

Which Interview Questions Should You Ask?