Temporary vs Fixed Term Contract – What is the difference?

If you've ever wondered what the difference is between a Temporary and Fixed-term contracts, read on, as we break down Temporary vs Fixed Term Contracts.

Temp or fixed term contracts are often used by employers as a way of filling short-term job openings and increasing flexibility within their teams. 

When a business is looking for additional PA or admin support, but is not in the position to hire a permanent employee, they are likely to look for temporary staff for their temp and fixed-term contract jobs.

Candidates who will consider both of these types of contracts will be available immediately or available on short notice, so tend not to be in current permanent employment.

But what is the difference between Temporary vs Fixed Term Contract

Careful consideration needs to be given to the way in which these contracts are set up so that candidates and clients understand what is the best option for them.

In this article, we explain the difference between temporary and fixed-term contracts.

What is a Temporary contract?

A temporary contract is one that is incredibly flexible. Businesses within many sectors will hire temporary workers to fill gaps in their workforce at a moment’s notice. This might be to cover sickness or holidays, as well as to work on a particular task or assignments. In general, temps are used for short-term work and need to be available immediately.

The employer does not need to stipulate the length of time that the contract will run for and can terminate it without a notice period. However, they will typically give one week’s notice out of courtesy.

Temp jobs allow candidates to work for lots of different companies, giving them the opportunity to gain experience and insight into how businesses and industries work. One of the perks of temping is the option to take breaks between bookings, so there is flexibility. 

Temps are employed by a recruitment agency, rather than an employer. Their timesheet and pay goes through the recruiters and they are paid by the hour. Knightsbridge Recruitment’s temps will also benefit from holiday pay, which is not always the case for other agency work.

What are the benefits of Temp work for candidates?

    • An advantage of having a temp job is the work-life balance it affords. If you have other commitments and need to manage your schedule in your own way, the temporary working lifestyle can give you that flexibility.
    • You can also try out different jobs in different industries without having to commit to one. This is particularly useful if you are unsure of which career path you want to go down or are looking to build your CV and work experience.
    • You get the opportunity to build up your network.
Find out more about temping

What is a Fixed Term Contract?

Temp jobs and fixed-term contracts both offer short-term employment, but fixed-term is more likely to be used when an employer knows they need a candidate for a defined length of time. It will usually be between about 3 months and 1 year. This might be to cover maternity/paternity leave, illness, a sabbatical or to work on a particular project, for example.

There is more of a commitment involved in a fixed-term contract and less flexibility than with a temporary contract. A contractor will be employed directly by the company and receive benefits as if they were a permanent member of staff. Notice period varies from company to company – generally it is likely to be one month - and usually your end date would be pre-agreed. Some employers will offer a bonus for candidates to see out the length of their contract – to avoid them leaving for a more permanent job.

If you are someone who wants a flexible role but likes a level of certainty, then a fixed-term contract might suit you better than temping. Contract work also suits people who have visas that only allow them to work for certain periods of time.

What are the benefits of fixed-term contracts for candidates?

    • Fixed-term contracts off more financial stability with a regular, monthly income. Some also pay bonuses, plus you get all the benefits of a permanent member of staff.
    • You may get greater job satisfaction as you build long-term relationships with your colleagues and see progress and results of the work you put in.
    • You’ll get better access to career development opportunities, such as training and continuous professional development (CPD).
    • The contract could present the chance to progress to a permanent role.

If you’re looking for Temporary or Fixed-Term Contract Personal Assistant, Executive Assistant, Private PA, Virtual Assistant or other Office Admin Jobs please contact one of our recruitment consultants on 020 7468 0400 or email us.

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