Ah, the joys of the festive job. For young job seekers who reach Christmas still waiting to hear about permanent graduate positions they’ve applied for, companies that need extra pairs of hands at this time of year can (think retailers, bars and restaurants) can offer a great opportunity to earn some quick cash before the end of the year.
But are ‘seasonal’ workers more vulnerable than employees on permanent contracts? Earlier this week, Amazon’s ‘elves’ told reporters about ‘intolerable working conditions’ at the mega-retailer’s warehouse in Dunfermline, Scotland, complained that they had been penalised for taking sick days and put under huge pressure to hit their daily ‘picking’ targets. Some workers are even said to be camping in tents near the M90 motorway in freezing temperatures to save on travel costs to and from their place of work (Amazon lays on shuttle buses, but they cost £10 per day). Many of Amazon’s staff are temporary and hired through agencies.
These allegations are extreme, but as poor quality jobs have been a theme of the ‘gig economy’ that boomed in 2016, Graduate Fog wants to know whether young workers in other seasonal jobs are facing difficult conditions.
Whether you’re working in a shop, bar, restaurant or warehouse this Christmas and New Year (or have done in the past), we’d love to hear about your experiences below…