Temporary Employment vs Permanent Employment

Temporary Employment vs Permanent Employment
8 Nov 2022

When applying for jobs, you may have the opportunity to choose between a temporary and permanent role. Both options have their pros and cons, so it’s important you consider both options before choosing one.

In this article, we discuss permanent and temporary contracts, and explain the difference between the two.


What is a temporary employee?

A temporary employee has a job that lasts for a defined, short period of time. The time frame can be as little as a few days to a few weeks.

In some cases, temporary employees may be covering longer periods of time, for example, to cover other staff members taking maternity leave.


What is a temporary contract of employment?

Temporary contracts of employment are agreements that have a start and end date. Temporary contracts can be extended and subject to change too.

Even though it is still a short term contract, temporary employees are still entitled to the same rights as all other staff, including sick pay and holiday allowance.

Temporary contracts allow you to pursue other interests or gain experience within specific sectors. They are also a great way to meet various people and create contacts, which may help you find your next job.


What is a permanent employee?

A permanent employee has a long term job role without a predetermined end date. You may be in this role for months, years or even for your whole career. A permanent employee can work on either a full-time or part-time basis.

Some of the most common motives for permanent employment include:


  • You want to commit to a long term position to plan your career
  • You rely on your employer for a range of different benefits.


What is the difference between a permanent and a temporary contract?

The main difference between a permanent and temporary contract is that temporary contracts usually have a defined date for when your employment with the company will end.

However, there are other differences too. In order to pursue the best type of job role which works for you, make sure you know the differences.


Payroll taxes

Employers will handle payroll taxes for both permanent and temporary employees, but the conditions are slightly different. Companies will always handle payroll taxes when hiring permanent staff, and in most cases, staffing agencies will also manage payroll taxes for temporary employees.

However, seasonal workers hired directly by companies will likely have to pay their taxes independently.


Do temporary employees have the same rights as permanent employees?

Yes, temporary employees have the same basic employment rights and working conditions as permanent employees.

This includes rights such as sick pay, holiday allowance and any other benefits the company has.


Pros and cons of temporary employment

In order to help you make a decision on what type of employment is best for you, we’ve broken down some of the pros and cons of temporary and permanent employment for candidates below.


Pros of temporary employment


  1. Temporary jobs offer flexibility: One of the great things about temporary employment is that you can tailor jobs to fit your schedule, choosing to work as many or few hours as you want. This is ideal for those who want to try out a job without making a commitment to it.

  2. You can learn new skills: If you’re looking to start a new career and learn new skills, temporary work can help you. Temping is a great way to gain necessary skills and build out your skill set for a long term career.

  3. It can help you fill out employment gaps: Some people are reluctant to take on temporary work as they fear it won’t look good on their CV, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, temporary employment is a great way to showcase skills you’ve learned and how they will help you in new roles.


If you are an employer and are wondering whether offering temporary roles would benefit your business, we have another blog on the Benefits of Temporary Employment, with specific reference to how employers could benefit.


Cons of temporary employment

  • The job is short term: Temporary roles are not meant to be ongoing and will usually range from a few days to a few weeks. Whilst it is possible for them to last longer, if you are looking for a career, a temp job is not a sure bet.

  • Temp work may not be exciting: Temp jobs can typically be monotonous. Due to their short term nature, temp jobs are usually fairly simple and do not offer much variety.

  • They may offer lower pay: The majority of temporary jobs are entry-level and short-term in nature, so they tend to have lower salaries. This may be a deal breaker for some, but if you’re looking to avoid the strains that unemployment may bring, temp jobs can be a great option.


Pros and cons of permanent employment


Pros of permanent employment

  • Room for progression: Permanent jobs frequently come with benefits such as room for progression into a more senior role. This is usually within the organisation you already work for.

  • No end date: Another advantage is that there is no contractual end date, which adds to the stability of a job role. If you want to leave, or your boss wants you to, you will have to adhere to the notice period stated in your contract which should give you some time to find a new job.

  • Employee benefits: There’s more likely to be more employee benefits with permanent roles compared to temporary roles. This may include health discounts, extra holiday entitlement and rewards for hitting certain targets.


Cons of permanent employment

  • Working hours: Working days and hours of permanent roles are likely to be less flexible than temporary work. However, due to the pandemic, this may have changed depending on the company.

  • Repetitive work: The work you do may be repetitive and can get tedious. Performing in the same roles, in the same environment every day can be tiring.

  • Walking away from permanent positions is tough: Leaving a job can be tough both mentally and contractually. Regardless of not enjoying the job too much, you may be leaving a team of people that you have developed a working relationship with, which can also be difficult.


If you’re considering a temporary position, or are still struggling to decide which path is best for you, our team of recruitment consultants can help you. Get in touch with us today for support with employment.

You can also see what temporary roles are available on our site.


FAQs about temporary and permanent employment


What is the difference between seasonal and temporary employment?

Temporary workers will typically work short periods of time, any time of the year, whilst seasonal workers are hired to work in periods of increased business, such as during Christmas or summer holidays.


What is the difference between temporary and contract employment?


If you are hired on a temporary contract, you will typically be employed for a fixed amount of time to cover illnesses, maternity/paternity leave and potentially increased workload.

You will be paid by the company, who will have agreed an hourly or daily rate in your contract.

If you’re hired on a contract however, an umbrella company will act as your employer whilst you produce the work for a business. Instead of the company directly paying you, you will be paid via the umbrella company.


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