Temporary working contracts – navigating flexibility in the workplace.

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During the surge of remote working, hybrid work and flexible hours, flexibility within contracts has become a crucial consideration for both employers and employees.

Temporary working contracts have gained prominence as a means to accommodate the dynamic needs of businesses while offering individuals opportunities for short-term employment.

Employers and employees alike often ask us how temporary contracts work and what they need to consider so we have outlined some key considerations.

Understanding temporary working contracts

Temporary working contracts, also known as fixed-term contracts, are employment agreements with a predetermined end date or upon completion of a specific task or project.

They can provide a flexible arrangement for both employers and employees, allowing businesses to meet fluctuating demands without committing to permanent hires, while also granting individuals short-term employment opportunities.

Benefits for employers


Temporary contracts allow employers to adjust their workforce in response to varying business needs, such as seasonal demand, special projects, or maternity cover.

This flexibility enables efficient resource allocation without the long-term commitment associated with permanent contracts.

Specialised skills

Employers can tap into specialised skill sets or expertise for specific projects, enhancing their capacity to complete complex tasks effectively.

Temporary contracts facilitate access to a diverse talent pool, enabling businesses to bring in professionals for a defined period, reducing recruitment costs and time.

Trial period

Employers can utilise temporary contracts to evaluate an employee’s suitability for a permanent position.

This trial period allows businesses to assess an individual’s performance, work ethic, and cultural fit before committing to long-term employment.

Benefits for employees

Experience and networking

Temporary contracts provide individuals with valuable work experience, enabling them to expand their skill set and enhance their CV.

Moreover, temporary positions often expose employees to various industries, organisations, and colleagues, facilitating networking opportunities for future career prospects.


Temporary contracts offer employees the flexibility to work on a short-term basis, accommodating personal circumstances or other commitments. This flexibility can be particularly appealing to students, parents, or individuals seeking interim employment between permanent positions.

Skill development

Temporary roles often involve diverse tasks and responsibilities, offering employees the chance to acquire new skills and knowledge.

This continuous learning contributes to personal and professional growth, making temporary contracts a valuable stepping stone in one’s career progression.

Legal considerations

Temporary working contracts are governed by the Employment Rights Act 1996 and other relevant legislation.

Before employing someone on a temporary contract, you should consider:

  • Duration

Temporary contracts specify the length of employment, which can range from a few weeks to several months or years, depending on the nature of the position.

  • Employment rights

Employees on temporary contracts have the same basic employment rights as permanent employees, including the right to a safe working environment, holiday entitlement, and protection from discrimination.

  • Notice period

Employers are required to provide employees on temporary contracts with a notice period if the contract ends prematurely.

The length of the notice period is typically outlined in the employment agreement.

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