The agricultural industry in the UK relies heavily on temporary labour for its efficiency and effectiveness. The very nature of farming and agriculture is such that even the best organised farm business needs to draw on additional labour on an ad-hoc basis. Periods such as lambing or harvesting are times when farmers rely on additional hands to deal with the increased workload on their land. But planning these additional hands is becoming more of a challenge as the weather continues to take us by surprise.
With fewer and fewer farmers having direct contacts to help during these busy spells, alongside increased employment regulation, more and more farmers rely on outsourcing their temporary labour recruitment requirements. Leaving the recruitment and administration of temporary labour to an outside agency means that farmers can concentrate on running and developing their farm, leaving the detail of short term work contracts to someone else.
All of that said, the traditional farming calendar has changed somewhat in recent years thanks to the surprises thrown at us by the weather. Changing weather patterns have meant that certain “seasons” disappear altogether, and others are either happening later or earlier, or are dragging on for longer than normal due to these changing weather patterns. The likes of the asparagus season for example, took a real hammering last year, and thanks to bad weather the crop was so insignificant that in many areas farmers didn’t need to recruit outside help.
With record rainfalls, combined with drought in recent years, there is little doubt that the weather could take us by surprise again this year. It is for this reason that it’s a good idea to look again at the farming calendar when it comes to possible recruitment needs. It’s no longer appropriate to assume that an influx of hands will be needed in June and July for harvesting, if the harvesting is actually going to take place in August. If contingencies can be taken into account when planning for your temporary labour needs, you’re more likely to get the staff you want and need, when you want and need them, without any nasty surprises causing frustration and delays.
Thanks to employment regulations, recruitment of temporary workers these days is no longer a two-minute job and agencies are required to vet applicants and take them through the appropriate selection process before placing them with employers. It is for this reason that it’s really important that agencies and recruiters can gear themselves up with some accuracy for the needs of the market.
If you rely on temporary labour during busy periods on your farm, it’s in your best interests to let any labour supplier know your anticipated needs as early as you possibly can. This will not only allow you to work with confidence, knowing you’ll get the extra help you need when you need it, but it means you’re more likely to get the best of the crop when it comes to workers.
If you need assistance with the financial aspects of planning your farming business needs, why not get in touch so we can help make your busy periods more bearable?