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Holiday Season Not So Jolly For Casuals

Updated: Nov 19, 2019


I was reminded that the Summer holiday season is fast approaching this morning as my 6 year old awoke to announce, rather sleepily, "Only 36 more sleeps til Christmas!". Thoughts immediately sprang to mind; Christmas shopping, festivities and food, school holidays and fun activities, trips to the beach and time off work. I work part time, throughout the year I plan my annual leave around school holidays, family commitments and sometimes manage to fit in a holiday or weekend away. My husband coordinates his leave to fit in with it all too so we don't have to rely on out of school care too often as with 2 kids it can become pretty costly.


Over the Summer, work shuts down completely for a 2 week period (no pay except for full timers), for a further 2 weeks most employees use their annual leave to cover time where the business is reduced to minimal operations. It's not the best time of year to go without pay, however 2 weeks is definitely better than the 6 weeks some casual employees face when their facility closes down for the entire school holidays.


So at a time where most of us are earning less (and spending a lot more!) here are some tips to consider to keep your holidays a little more financially stress free:


1. Investigate casual holiday work. For many industries, particularly retail and hospitality, the summer holidays bring an increased need for temporary staff for short term work.


2. High school and Uni students - Term 4 and Term 1 are good growth periods with more people 'thinking swimming' and enrolling in lessons. As your school year comes to an end take on an extra shift, offer to do fill ins or promotional work offered by your employer. The extra cash will definitely come in handy for the holidays.


3. If you're part time or full time check your accrued annual leave. If you have built up extra leave speak to your employer about cashing some out at the end of the year. (Speak to your SIA staff representative or Delegate for help with this one!)


4. Work extra hours towards the end of the year to build up more leave, or if you're a casual put the extra earnings aside.


5. If you want to continue swim teaching over the holidays jump onto the Vicswim website, check locations of programs and apply or contact them for further info - they run 3 weeks of programs from January 6.


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The Swim Instructors Association (SIA) has been established by a group of senior swim instructors in conjunction with the Australian Workers’ Union. It was born in response to a number of serious issues of illegal underpayment and allegations of unfair treatment to ensure that instructors, both now and into the future, are treated fairly and given a voice.

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