YHA rewards seasonal workers with attractive benefits package

Seasonal workers are an essential part of YHA (England and Wales), boosting the organisation’s headcount from around 800 in the winter to more than 1,350 in the peak summer months. Katie Swalwell, people business partner at YHA, says: “Our seasonal team members do anything and everything. It can include running reception, housekeeping, assisting in the kitchen and bar work.”

Although they may only be there for a few months, it is important that everyone is treated as a valued member of staff. All seasonal workers have a six-week induction period, which includes training, regular reviews, and a welcome to the YHA from employees in their hostel. “We want everyone to feel part of the team, regardless of their contract,” adds Swalwell.

Alongside the location of its hostels, which is a major draw for many of its employees, YHA provides a generous reward package. As well as paying national living wage or more, it also offers benefits including a health cash plan for the worker and their family; an employee assistance programme; and reward platform, provided by Perkbox. Seasonal workers enjoy benefits associated with the charity too, such as 10 free nights in its hostels for them and three guests and five volunteering days.

The YHA also recognises that flexibility is important to its seasonal workers, offering a range of contracts from zero hours through to 42.5 hours a week. Contract lengths also vary, with the first influx of seasonal workers starting in February and numbers increasing through until October. Seasonal workers may also be able to live in, depending on preference and location.

This combination of benefits, flexibility and lifestyle means that many of YHA’s seasonal workers come back year after year. “Last season we had 184 returners and this year, mid-recruitment, we’re already up to 48 returners. It’s also common for seasonal workers to get a promotion or switch to permanent roles,” adds Swalwell.