Holiday Seasonal Employees & Payroll: What you need to know!

Many businesses throughout the Upper Valley hire on seasonal help for the busy season.  These additional employees can contribute to making your holiday season a success. Of course, when hiring temporary help, you need to treat them with the same respect as your permanent employees. Make sure you consider any particular tax, financial or legal concerns that arise when hiring season help. 

seasonal payroll nh

What is the hourly wage that I have to pay a seasonal worker? 

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires you as the employer to pay the minimum wage rate as well as overtime for all hourly employees. This also applies to salespeople that you hire for the holidays. The current federal minimum wage rate is $7.25 per hour or higher depending on your state. Of course, you can pay your employees more and often a higher wage rate will attract quality employees. 

There is a minimum wage exemption here are the rules. This exception applies to seasonal recreation or amusement businesses. This would not apply to any retail businesses. For more info about this rule click here.

How many employees can I have before these laws take effect? 

There are some laws that go into effect when an employer exceeds a certain number of employees. 

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act: 15 or more employees
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): 15 or more employees
  • (FMLA) Family and Medical Leave Act applies to companies that have 50 0r more employees on your payroll for 20 or more workweeks in a calendar year. 

The exception to this are businesses that are contractors. There are no specific exemptions for seasonal workers. As your business grows, be aware of the laws in your state and on a federal level. Make sure you know what those laws are, and the payroll company is working with you. 

What about Health Care? 

The Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) requires businesses with fifty or more full-time employees to provide essential healthcare. If you don’t provide this under the law, then you have to pay the penalty at the end fo the year when you do your taxes. According to the IRS seasonal workers that you hire are defined as employees who work fewer than 120 days per year. Again, according to the IRS “retail workers” that are employed during the holiday season are classified as “Seasonal Workers.” 

What about unemployment insurance? 

When an employee is laid off from work, he or she may be eligible for unemployment benefits. Check with your state. Rules will differ per each state. New Hampshire unemployment rules state


The Unemployment Insurance program provides financial benefits for workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own, are able to, available for, and actively seeking work as instructed. Eligibility for receiving benefits is set by law. This section provides a general overview of eligibility requirements, more specific information about your claim can be found under a claimant’s web-service account or contacting the call center at the toll-free numbers on this web-site.

Monetary Eligibility

After filing an initial application for Unemployment Insurance benefits, you will receive a Determination of Unemployment Compensation with information about your monetary eligibility. This monetary determination is not a guarantee of payment. It is to advise you and your employer that a claim for benefits has been filed and, if eligible, what the weekly benefit rate will be and upon which wages that rate is based.

Non-Monetary Eligibility

If there are any questions that need to be addressed on a claim, the claimant will receive a Determination of Eligibility document regarding non-monetary eligibility.

Eligibility Requirements while Filing

In order to be eligible for unemployment compensation, an individual:

Must be totally or partially unemployed.
Must register for work unless you have been specifically exempted.
Must be available for full-time work on all shifts and during all the hours work claimant is qualified for is normally performed.
Must be physically and mentally able to work.
Must search for work.
Must file timely claims for benefits.
Must participate in Re-employment Services if selected by NH Employment Security.
Must disclose mandatory child support payments or overpaid food stamp coupons.
Must report any refusal of work or referral to work.
Work Search Requirements

Looking for work and providing proof of a search for work is a basic eligibility requirement when collecting unemployment benefits. Having a potential return to work date with a seasonal employer is not a guarantee of a waiver of your work search responsibility. You may be required to look for work that you are able to perform during the off season. The entry of work search activity records is required when filing a continued claim for unemployment benefits online.


Any time you hire on seasonal worker make sure you check with your payroll partner here at CheckWrite Payroll. We stay up to date on the labor laws. State laws are not your only concern when hiring seasonal help. Make sure you are aware of any and all applicable Federal laws too. If you have any questions, give us a call. We are your payroll partner!