Why your next role should be a fixed term contract

Alice Thynne our consultant managing the role

Changing roles, no matter what your circumstance is can be daunting, especially in the midst of so much uncertainty. Many people’s natural reaction is to jump into a permanent role because it feels like a “safer” choice. 

For a long time, taking fixed-term contracts (FTC) was seen as something you did if you struggled to find permanent employment or were an independent contractor. But I took one in February 2021, and it wasn’t because I was lacking options or venturing into the world of self-employment. 

I decided to take an FTC over a permanent role because, despite the opportunity being short-term, it was much more exciting than the other options available to me, and I knew I would be exposed to systems and processes that I wouldn’t elsewhere. 

However, the job market has and continues to evolve. Job boards and recruitment agencies are reporting that vacancies are at an all-time high, whilst registered job-seekers are at the lowest they’ve ever been. 

Moreover, the current cost of living crisis will also influence the next steps you take when it comes to your career. 

So why, in such an ecosystem, would you take a temporary option over permanent work?

Enhance your skills and acquire new knowledge with temp contracts 

For me, a core benefit of working temporary and fixed-term contracts was the opportunity to learn new skills. 

No two businesses are the same. They use different tools, CRMs, and software and have different approaches to customer care. 

Through doing FTCs, you will undoubtedly pick up on these different skills and techniques, which allow you to grow and develop in a way you may not have by taking on a permanent role. 

Many people favour permanent work over FTCs, employers wanting to hire people on a fixed-term basis can be more flexible on their requirements. 

I was excited about the different software and tools on offer at Marks Sattin, as I wanted to challenge myself and learn new things.

Shifting dynamics: Remote work's impact on fixed-term contract work 

According to the ONS, 44% of UK workers currently work remotely in 2023, which is made up of 16% full-time remote workers, and 28% hybrid workers (who split their time between home and the office).

Our ability to work effectively is no longer defined by the length of our commute. This is because businesses recognise that by hiring remote employees, they can tap into a much larger talent pool, especially for the harder-to-fill roles. 

Furthermore, the consultants at Marks Sattin, who specialise in temporary and interim recruitment, have seen a distinct increase in the number of remote FTCs becoming available. 

Your legal rights are the same as permanent employees

For many people, there is a reluctance to take a fixed-term role, as there is a lack of certainty and security. 

However, the British government clearly outlines that “employers must not treat workers on fixed-term contracts less favourably than permanent employees”.

The gov.uk website clearly states employers must also ensure fixed-term employees receive: 

  • The same pay and conditions as permanent staff
  • The same or equivalent benefits package
  • Information about permanent vacancies in the organisation
  • Protection against redundancy or dismissal (including redundancy pay if you’ve been working for your current employer for 2 years or more)
  • Anyone who worked continuously for the same employer for two years or more has the same redundancy rights as a permanent employee

If you have any questions about your rights as a contracted employee, seek guidance from an employment law specialist, like Clarion Solicitors, as they are best placed to effectively advise you.

Your contract may be extended or you could become a permanent employee 

Just because you start on an FTC doesn't mean it will end when it is meant to. Fixed-term employment can evolve into a long-term opportunity

Depending on the company's requirements and your individual performance, your contract may be extended or you could become a permanent team member. 

Explore new fixed-term contract opportunities with Marks Sattin 

At Marks Sattin, our consultants make sure to keep abreast of the latest trends in their markets

Ultimately, FTCs are a great opportunity to learn new skills, undertake project work, and take on a new challenge in a business you may not have considered previously.

As a specialist recruitment and executive search firm with over 30 years’ of experience, we've helped many professionals find their next exciting opportunity, whether that's within global organisations or growing SMEs. And across different sectors such as finance, technology and transformation

If you are considering your options, please reach out to one of our qualified consultants, who are best placed to advise you on your next steps. 

Or register your details to shortlist jobs and sign up for job alerts so you're the first to hear about our latest opportunities.

23/10/23
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