The advantages and disadvantages of temporary work

Have you been applying for that dream job but you’re having little success? Maybe you’ve been unemployed for a while, or you’re a graduate searching for work in a crowded workspace. With so many people applying for the same position, you might be starting to give up hope. The solution could be temporary work, which can open the doors to your next career. There are a wealth of benefits temporary work (along with some risks) can bring to help support your transition into the world of work.

Advantages

1. Experience

Work experience is like gold dust when it comes to job applications. Statistics show that the average person changes careers 5-7 times (https://www.careers-advice-online.com/career-change-statistics.html). The trouble with changing jobs could be the unknown factor of the new area. As someone new to the sector, you might need to try out the area first before going into a full-time position. Employers value a record of you doing a job well. Demonstrating you have the right skills and the ability to work effectively can be tough, especially if you’re new to the field. The risks for employers include you not being able to handle the job or that absences from work with stress are likely. Temporary work can show employers you can handle the responsibilities and demands of a role.

2. Carers and families

As a carer, committing to a full-time job isn’t always possible. Maybe you can’t work at certain times of the year due to the school holidays. The Universal Credit restrictions might be a barrier to you working longer hours. Temporary employment can help you increase your earnings without losing out on your benefits.

3. References

If you left your last job on bad terms, getting a reference from your previous employer might be tough. The law states that employers can’t provide a negative reference, but ignoring requests or using neutral language on supporting statements is allowed. These can both be as bad as a negative reference in an employer’s eyes. Temporary employment could provide you with a good reference which you can use on your next application form.

4. Pension

Retiring in comfort is on the minds of employers and rightly so. Everyone wants a safe future, knowing they are going to live their retired days without financial stress. In the past, employers didn’t have to contribute to an employee’s pension. However, times have changed, and now the benefits of a pension are included in temporary work, as long as the worker is over 22 years old earning above £192 a week or £833 a month (https://help.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/faq/general/Temporary-Staff).

The Disadvantages

1. Sick Pay

If you work as a temporary employee, you are entitled to sick pay (SSP) if you are off for more than four days in a row (https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/work/rights-at-work/sick-pay/check-if-youre-entitled-to-sick-pay/). Any days off which are less than this aren’t covered compared to a permanent employee who may receive their full-daily rate paid by their employer. The SSP amount can be drastically lower than the job’s daily pay, and there could be a lengthy wait for the amount to be paid.

2. Unsecure employment

Temporary work is short term for a reason. Most employers prefer temporary workers to fill gaps during busy periods, or for maternity or sickness cover. After the contract has ended, the employer can offer further work, but at their sole discretion. As a temporary employee, the work you’re offered isn’t guaranteed to last beyond your temporary contract (which could be a day, weeks, or months-long) and you are reliant on an employment agency to find more work.

Temporary work can be an excellent way for graduates, the unemployed, and those looking to move into a better job find their feet and gain valuable experience. But, for those reliant on a constant income for paying off a mortgage or personal debt, there are some risks to consider before making a move.

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