We've compiled and provided information for the most frequently asked questions about temporary work.

We hope it helps! 

What is interim/contract/ temp work?

The main difference between the three is often the level at which the temp works, but not always.

Temporary work, as the word suggests, is a position that has no fixed end date and can be anything from a few hours to several years. It is usually paid weekly, and you’ll be paid by an agency rather than the business you’re working at. It’s uncommon for individuals in temp positions to receive exactly the same benefits as permanent employees, but you are entitled to receive the same pay and working conditions as a permanent employee after 12 weeks.

Interims are often utilised by organisations to assist with specific projects or to provide skills that don’t already exist in the business. The term interim is usually used for more senior roles, often with a set period of time to complete a project. Interims normally provide their services through their own Limited Company, although this has been impacted over the last couple of years with the changing responsibility for IR35 determination passing to the end hirer.  

Fixed Term Contracts are for a specific period of time, and you will be paid directly by the organisation you are working for. Similarly, to interim work, assignments are normally for defined projects or providing cover, like maternity leave. These assignments usually require individuals with niche and specialist skillsets. The individuals may receive the same benefits as permanent employees as they are on the company’s payroll but that will depend on the length of the contract and is down to the business itself.


What's the difference between temp and part-time?

You can work part-time on a permanent or temporary basis. Part-time literally just means less days or hours than a standard full-time worker. As a part-time employee, you should be treated no differently to full-time employees in terms of pay, pensions, benefits, opportunities etc. Anything financial just needs to be prorated, meaning it’s allocated proportionately based on the time worked.  


What are my entitlements as a temporary worker? Agency Worker Regulation (AWR) explained:  

The unfortunate truth is that as a temp worker, you don’t get the same level of benefits that permanent employees do, however, under AWR your rights are far greater than they were before the legislation was brought in. Do you know your rights under AWR?

From day one:
You have the same rights as those in permanent positions to use shared facilities and services supplied to the staff by the organisation i.e. kitchen/ canteen, prayer rooms, car parking and workplace creche’s. You are also entitled to find out and get information about internal roles at the organisation.

After 12 weeks:
You have the right to...

  • Equal basic pay, overtime, bonus and commission related to individual (rather than company) productivity.

  • The same holiday entitlement as permanent employees.

  • Enrolment into a pension scheme.

  • Statutory maternity pay, but not statutory maternity leave. You also have employee’s pregnancy rights after working in your role for 12 weeks.

  • Statutory sick pay, provided you qualify.

This may all seem very black and white but there are so many other beneficial reasons to temp. Working on a temporary basis can offer other (non financial) benefits such as far more flexibility that being a permanent employee and can enhance your skillset as you get to experience many different businesses and systems.

These are are our top benefits of temporary work.


How long does it take to go from temp to perm?

There is no official time frame and temp to perm isn’t the case for all assignments. Some temp positions are never meant to turn to a permanent opportunity – they are purely cover or for a period of time. It will all depend on the company and your performance.


Can I claim unfair dismissal as a temp?

As you are not classed as an employee, you cannot claim unfair dismissal unless of course it involves discrimination based on a protected characteristic.

Unless stated otherwise in your contract, you are not required to give the company any notice if you’re leaving – neither does the company if they choose to terminate the assignment. However, most temporary work will involve an informal arrangement to give some notice out of courtesy. You should always inform the agency that you want to leave - this may be in writing, so check your contract.

If you've gotten to the bottom and we've not supplied an answer to a burning question you have, please get in touch - we're happy to help.

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