Seasonal work abroad: Summer or winter job 2024


In 2024, temporary seasonal work abroad is enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Employers in other countries are looking for foreign workers to fill the skills gap and create jobs for those wishing to work outside their home country. The range of seasonal jobs is very broad. During summeropportunities are focused on the tourism and hospitality sectors, with job offers including hotel jobs and tour guide positions. Visit winterThe focus is on winter vacation activities such as ski resorts, with positions for facilities maintenance staff and winter sports instructors. In addition, theagriculture is an important sector, requiring workers of all skill levels for tasks such as harvesting.

A major advantage of working abroad as a seasonal employee is the possibility of benefiting from employer-provided accommodation. This can result in substantial savings on accommodation costs. It is essential that the seasonal worker understands local labor laws, including the requirements for obtaining a visa and residence permit. In addition, care must be taken to ensure that agreements with foreign employers comply with local regulations, to avoid any potential conflicts. This type of employment therefore offers not only a work opportunity, but also an enriching cultural experience, suited to a variety of skills and preferences.

What is seasonal work? 

The European Economic Community defines seasonal work as: '(...) work that depends on the rhythm of the seasons and is repeated every year'. For Pole emploiseasonal work is The performance of tasks normally required to be repeated every year, on more or less fixed dates, according to the rhythm of the seasons or collective lifestyles'. To qualify as seasonal, a professional activity must meet several conditions: 

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  • It must be limited in time (maximum 8 months);
  • It must be repeated every year;
  • It must depend on weather conditions and/or tourism flows;
  • It must be beyond the employer's control. 

Generally speaking, a seasonal job is defined as temporary work that meets specific needs linked to a particular period or season of the year. Typically, these jobs are designed to last only for the duration of a specific season or peak of activity, which distinguishes them from permanent jobs. The most common sectors for seasonal jobs include tourism, agriculture, retail (especially during holiday periods), and leisure. For example, during the summer season, seasonal jobs may include positions in hotels, amusement parks, or vacation resorts, while winter sees an increase in jobs in ski resorts or stores due to the festive season.

In the same vein : Seasonal work contracts in Italy for foreignersJob search visa Portugal 2023.

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Seasonal work for whom?

Seasonal work is open to all sections of the population, all social classes and all people wishing to earn money on a seasonal basis (work for students, work for pensioners, work for housewives, work for temps who find time for a seasonal job, seasonal work for foreigners, etc.).*.

Seasonal work appeals to a wide range of people, each with their own motivations and circumstances. Students are an important group attracted to these temporary jobs, as they offer the perfect opportunity to earn money during the summer or winter vacations, while gaining valuable work experience. Seasonal jobs are also popular among teachers and education professionals looking to supplement their income during the school vacations. In addition, these positions attract people in career transition or those wishing to experiment in a new field without making a long-term commitment, as well as retirees keen to stay active and supplement their pensions.

These jobs are also suitable for people looking for flexibility in their work or who want to reconcile their professional life with other commitments or interests. For travel enthusiasts, this type of job offer an opportunity to work while discovering new places, particularly in the tourism and hospitality sectors. Similarly, those looking for enriching cultural experiences or the chance to learn new languages can find seasonal work an ideal opportunity.

What types of seasonal work are there?

Seasonal work varies considerably from one season to the next, responding to the specific needs of each period of the year.

In summerThe tourism sector offers many opportunities, from positions in hotels, on beaches and in swimming pools, to support functions in leisure centers and tourist attractions. This season also sees an increase in demand in the gastronomy sector, where cafés, restaurants and bars are recruiting extra staff to manage the influx of customers. These jobs not only offer professional experience and the opportunity to interact with an international clientele in often picturesque and lively surroundings.

In winterSeasonal employment is taking on a whole new meaning. Ski resorts are becoming prime locations for seasonal work, offering positions ranging from ski instruction to reception and facilities maintenance. Christmas-related commercial activities, such as Christmas markets, retail stores and promotional events, also recruit large numbers of temporary workers to meet the seasonal increase in demand.

Autumn, for its part, is marked by seasonal work in agriculture, particularly grape harvesting and fruit picking, where extra labor is essential for the harvest.

As for the springIt is also marked by an increase in seasonal employment in agriculture, with activities focused on planting and preparing crops for the growing season. These different types of seasonal work offer unique opportunities for skills development, cultural experience and financial gain.

  • Seasonal job in summer : Tourism (hotel, beach, swimming pool, ...) ; Gastronomy (cafés, restaurants, ...)
  • Seasonal employment in winter: ski resorts, commercial activities related to Christmas, ...)
  • Seasonal work in autumn: Agriculture, including harvesting and picking.
  • Spring job: especially in agriculture.

Seasonal employment contracts: What you need to know

Seasonal employment contracts, which are governed by specific legal regulations, are designed for temporary jobs linked to the seasons. This type of contract, which may be repeated each year for similar periods, is generally of limited duration, corresponding to the season concerned, but may be renewable according to the employer's needs. Seasonal workers enjoy the same social rights as permanent employees, including social security and unemployment insurance, while employers must comply with current labor laws, notably concerning minimum wages, working hours and working conditions.

At European level, legislation on seasonal work includes specific directives for seasonal workers, guaranteeing equal treatment and access to social security and other benefits. Seasonal workers must comply with rules on working hours, breaks, and health and safety conditions. In addition, workers from non-EU countries must comply with specific rules concerning visas and work permits. These regulations are essential to ensure a fair working experience and protect workers' rights.

Here are the key elements to include in a seasonal employment contract:

  • Personal Information Name and address of employee and employer.
  • Job Description : Precise designation of the seasonal employee's role.
  • Contract dates Start and end of the contract, or duration of the season concerned.
  • Activity duration Minimum duration of planned activity.
  • Trial period Duration and conditions of the trial period.
  • Compensation Amount of the employee's remuneration.
  • Renewal Clause Contract renewal conditions.
  • Working hours : Normally set at 35 hours, with the possibility of adjustment.

Employers and workers must be fully informed and comply with these guidelines to ensure that seasonal employment contracts run smoothly. If you have any doubts or questions, you are advised to consult an expert in labor law or the relevant authorities.

Sample seasonal employment contract

A valid seasonal employment contract must include a number of elements essential to its legality and validity. Here's a fictitious example of what such a contract might look like, followed by advice on how to check its validity:

Between the undersigned :

Employer: [Company name], located at [Company address], represented by [Company representative's name] in his capacity as [Representative's title].

Employee : [Employee's name], born on [Date of birth], domiciled at [Employee's address].

It has been agreed as follows:

Job description
The employee is employed as a [Job title, e.g. Server]. His/her main tasks are as follows: [Detailed job description].

Contract duration
The contract is drawn up for the period from [Start date] to [End date]. The guaranteed minimum working time is [Number] hours.

The employee will be paid at the hourly rate of [Amount €/hour] for a working week of [Number] hours.

Place of work
The work will be carried out at [Precise address of the workplace].

Trial period
A trial period of [Duration] has been agreed, during which either party may terminate the contract without compensation.

Working conditions
The employee will benefit from the same working conditions as those applicable to the company's permanent employees.

Other clauses
[Any other clauses specific to seasonal work, e.g. accommodation provided, meals, etc.].

Signed in duplicate at [Place], on [Date].

Employer's signature
[Employer's signature]

Employee's signature
[Signature of employee]

How to guarantee the validity of a seasonal contract

  • Legal compliance Check that the contract complies with labor laws in the country concerned, particularly in terms of minimum wage, working hours and social rights.
  • Clarity of terms Make sure that all clauses, including contract duration, job description and remuneration, are clearly defined.
  • Full documentation The contract must be in writing and signed by both parties. Each party must keep a copy.
  • Compliance with industry standards Compare the terms of the contract with the standards and collective agreements applicable in the sector concerned.
  • No unfair terms Be on the lookout for unfair or illegal clauses.
  • Rights and obligations Make sure the contract clearly details the rights and obligations of each party, including the conditions for breaking the contract.
  • Expert advice If in doubt, consult an employment law expert or competent authority for a professional assessment.

Renewal of seasonal contracts 

When looking for a seasonal contract, it's important to understand how the renewal process works. Although a seasonal contract can be renewed every year, it does not automatically become a permanent contract. Seasonal contracts are specific to a particular period or season, and are distinct from permanent jobs.

If you have already worked under a seasonal contract with a company, you are entitled to a priority right to renewal of your contract, provided you have completed at least two consecutive seasons with that company and the position offered matches your qualifications. This right does not guarantee automatic renewal of your contract, but does give you preference when recruiting for subsequent seasons.

You can take advantage of several successive seasonal contracts with the same employer, with no waiting period between contracts. This offers great flexibility and can enable you to plan your schedule around seasonal periods.

However, if the cumulative duration of these contracts exceeds certain limits, or if the nature of your work is similar to that of a permanent jobIn the event of a breach of contract, your seasonal contract could be requalified as an open-ended contract by the relevant authorities. The temporary nature of your employment must be clearly understood, and the company must ensure that it complies with current regulations.

As a seasonal worker, you need to know your rights and the conditions for renewing your contract. Make sure you have all the necessary information before signing a seasonal contract, and don't hesitate to ask for clarification or consult legal resources if you have any doubts or questions. This will enable you to make the most of your seasonal work experience while protecting your interests.

End of seasonal contract 

The end of a seasonal contract is an event that temporary workers need to understand well. By definition, these contracts are tied to a specific period and therefore have a predetermined end date, which generally coincides with the end of the season or peak activity for which the worker was hired. As this date draws nearer, the worker needs to clarify with the employer the conditions under which the contract will come to an end, particularly as regards any termination payments or social security and unemployment rights. Similarly, the question of whether the employer intends to renew the contract for the following season and, if so, the terms of this renewal, must be taken into account.

Seasonal workers should also be aware of their rights at the end of the contract. Depending on the country's legislation and the terms of the contract, they may be entitled to certain benefits, such as an end-of-contract indemnity or compensation for unpaid overtime. You should also check that all aspects of the contract, such as final payment, untaken vacation or other benefits, are handled in accordance with the agreements and laws in force. The end of the seasonal contract is also an opportunity for the worker to request an evaluation or letter of recommendation, useful for future employment opportunities.

Breach of seasonal contract 

Breaking a seasonal contract before its scheduled end can occur in certain circumstances, and has considerable implications for seasonal workers. First of all, we need to understand the conditions under which such termination is possible. Generally speaking, seasonal contracts, like all employment contracts, can be terminated by mutual consent, in exceptional circumstances or during the trial period. The conditions for early termination must be clearly defined in the contract to avoid any misunderstanding or dispute. If an employee wishes to terminate his or her contract unilaterally, a notice period is generally required, except in cases of serious cause.

How do I find a seasonal job abroad?

Finding a seasonal work contract abroad requires methodical preparation and a good knowledge of the steps to follow. Here's how:

Step 1: Understanding the legal requirements

First and foremost, find out about the legal requirements for working in your destination country. Depending on your qualifications, such as a specific diploma or patent, look for opportunities in this field. This can not only enrich your CV, but also offer you opportunities better suited to your skills.

Step 2: Preparing application documents

Take along CVs and cover letters written in the language of the country where you intend to work. This shows you're prepared and serious. Before you leave, find out what sectors are recruiting and contact the relevant departments, companies and associations. It's advisable to send in your applications well in advance to increase your chances of being selected.

Step 3: Improve your language skills

Consider taking language courses to improve or refresh your knowledge. Proficiency in the local language is often a major advantage. You can also assess your level with a variety of language tests available online or at language institutes.

Find job offers

There are several ways to find a seasonal job abroad:

  • Temporary employment and recruitment agencies : They can offer interesting opportunities in the target country.
  • Specialized websites : Platforms such as Seasonworkers, Leisurejobs, Overseasjobs, and other sites mentioned offer a variety of seasonal work opportunities.
  • Specialized organizations WBI, ESL, Information Planet and others can help you find jobs that match your needs and profile.
  • Humanitarian organizations For those looking for a more hands-on experience, sites like and are good places to start.
  • Personal network Don't underestimate the power of word of mouth. Your network of family and friends can be a valuable source of information.

How much does a seasonal worker earn?

A seasonal worker's salary can vary considerably depending on the country, the industry and the type of work performed. Here's a general overview of seasonal salaries, how they compare with permanent jobs, and tips for managing your finances during this period.

Overview of salaries in different countries and sectors :

  • Developed countries (United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, France, Spain, Italy, etc.) Salaries are generally higher. For example, in the hotel or tourism sector, hourly wages can vary from 10 to 20 dollars/euros, or even more.
  • Developing countries Salaries may be lower, but this is often offset by a lower cost of living.
  • Specific sectors : In agriculture (such as fruit picking), wages can be based on production (piecework). On the other hand, in sectors such as winter sports teaching, salaries can be higher because of the specialized skills required.

Comparison with permanent jobs

  • Seasonal jobs : They are often paid by the hour or by the day. Additional benefits (such as accommodation or meals) are common, particularly in tourism and agriculture.
  • Permanent jobs : This is usually a monthly or annual salary with additional benefits such as health insurance, pension plans, etc.

Financial management and budgeting

Budget planning Budgeting: Draw up a budget taking into account your salary, anticipated expenses (accommodation, food, transport) and any savings you may have.
Cost of living Find out about the cost of living in your destination country to estimate your daily expenses.
Savings : Seasonal jobs can save money, especially if accommodation and meals are provided by the employer.
Plan for the unexpected Keep a reserve for unforeseen or unplanned expenses.

Working for a few months in an agricultural cooperative or tourism establishment is a different and intelligent way of discovering a new culture, perfecting your command of the local language and earning a wage. So, if you haven't yet thought about seasonal work, you should know that many countries make it easy to obtain short-term work permits to meet temporary labor needs in certain sectors.

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