On-call workers used to only be for hospitals and other medical facilities. With businesses opening and Coronavirus concerns, no one can risk working when sick or being understaffed. On-call workers are a great idea for any business reopening right now -- even ice cream shops!
You may be wondering about the legality of on-call workers in your shop, we're here to clear up your confusion and, hopefully, provide some guidance.
What Does On-Call Mean?
Scheduling an employee to be "on-call" means that you, their employer, can call them into work at any time during that shift. An employee that's on-call is available to work the entire time they're scheduled, but they aren't working. This also means they're paid differently than someone working. Keep reading to learn more about how to pay on-call workers.
Why Use On-Call Workers?
On-call workers are a great asset for keeping your establishment safe and clean. If you're utilizing on-call workers, you don't have to worry about being understaffed when someone calls in sick. You can rest assured that your shop is safe and well-staffed.
How to Schedule On-Call Workers
Scheduling on-call workers is just as simple as scheduling employees for their regular shifts. The biggest difference in scheduling is communication with your employees. When they're hired, or when you implement on-call shifts, explain the exact parameters to your employees: what on-call means for your business, how quickly they need to respond when you call them in, and how they'll be paid.
How to Pay On-Call Workers
This has been a hot-button issue even in the medical community for many years. Do you pay someone who isn't working? The short answer: no. To elaborate, the US Department of Labor defines "hours worked" as any time "an employee must be on duty, on the employer premises, or at any other prescribed place of work." This means that any time your employees are at your place of business for work, you need to pay them. If you have an on-call employee on the premises waiting to see if they're needed, even if they aren't working, legally, that counts as hours worked. Generally speaking, if you're communicating with your on-call employee or they're traveling to your establishment, they should be paid for that. You don't need to pay them for any other time, however.
For more information about paying your on-call workers, refer to this article.
On-call workers are a great asset when reopening your ice cream shop. You don't have to worry about being understaffed or having a sick employee working. You can stay safe and your employees can call in sick guilt-free.
If you have any other questions or concerns about on-call employees or reopening your ice cream shop safely, let us know in the comments or email us today! We love hearing from you.