There are many types of employment. It used to be that full-time work was the most common type of employment. Now, both small and large companies often have positions for temporary, contracted and part-time workers as well. There are different advantages and disadvantages to each type of job. Understanding what makes them different is essential.
Without knowing, it is not easy to understand what you may be in for! Benefits, salary versus hourly pay, and allotted vacation allowance may depend on your employment type.
Temporary workers or temporary employees (also referred to as ‘temps’) are hired for a certain amount of time to fill a particular job role. For example, this would include retail positions that open up around the holidays. These job vacancies are added to help handle busier stores and higher sales months. Another example would be a secretarial job that opens up when an administrator goes on leave (i.e. parental or sick). For the company, hiring temporary workers is useful because it allows businesses to ask for extra help only when they need it. It also allows those looking for a short-term or second source of income to find a job that fits their needs.
It is essential to know that temporary workers have the same protections as regular full-time employees. These benefits include any safety measures, overtime pay, and minimum wage guidelines that the company may already have. The same laws against harassment, discrimination, and child labour also apply in all temporary positions. On the other hands, temporary workers are not always given the same “fringe benefits” as full-time employees. These benefits are things like paid holiday days or private healthcare. They also face more job instability, meaning that if and when cuts occur within the company, they are the first to be released.
It is not uncommon for temporary workers to get promoted after a trial period. Often temporary workers work hard to demonstrate a strong work ethic and show they can contribute to the company. It makes sense for the corporation to bring them on full-time because the employee has already been trained and is familiar with how the company runs. It is less work to promote them than it is to hire someone brand new and teach them from the start.
Contracted workers often work for themselves or under a contracting company. They contract out their work to businesses who need a specific skill set for a small number of jobs. The reasons why companies hire contracted workers is similar to why they would hire temporary workers. Still, contractors are often experts in their field, which is essential if the job required is complex.
Contrary to temporary workers, contractors often handle their taxes, permits and benefits, meaning the company does not have to. Contractors also set their fees, hours, and self-select their number of clients based on their availability.
Although contracting is useful for individuals with a strong skill-set in a particular field, it also has its disadvantages. Contractors are responsible for paying self-employment taxes. They must also always be on the hunt for new opportunities. Maintaining a steady income can be difficult.
Part-time employees include anyone who works between one to thirty-five hours per week in a permanent position. Part-time work is excellent because it gives both the employer and employee a lot of flexibility. It is excellent for the company because part-time employees can take on shifts in the evenings or weeks when the full-time staff is not there. Also, they are often not salaried. Instead, they are paid an hourly wage. This means they usually cost the company less over time.
Part-time work can also be great for an employee. The flexibility and reduced time commitment can allow employees to maintain responsibilities outside of work. For example, mothers or fathers who need to take care of their children or those with time-consuming extracurriculars can benefit from this part-time scheme. Students who have inconsistent availability but need to make money throughout their studies can benefit from holding part-time jobs.
Some disadvantages of part-time work include reduced benefits and vacation assurance. Additionally, it can be challenging to get all of the necessary work done in a reduced period. A common complaint from part-time employees is that they are given a workload beyond what they can accomplish with their part-time status.
Full-time employees make up the most significant section of the workforce. These employment contracts are referred to as “full-time” because they are permanent positions that require a 35+ hour-per-week commitment. They always include holiday entitlements, pension benefits, and statutory sick pay. There are additional benefits, such as parental leave and life insurance.
For the company, a disadvantage of hiring full-time work is the need to pay a salary even during quiet or reduced periods of corporate income. For the employee, disadvantages include reduced flexibility for other daily tasks. Typical work hours happen between 9 am and 5 pm. It can, therefore, be challenging to everyday activities like medical appointments or a child’s school event.
Once full-time, employees in the United Kingdom have a statutory right to a maximum average working week of 48 hours. Hours are averaged over a 17-week reference period. Working hours include any time when the worker is at the employer’s disposal. Travel time to and from work is not usually counted towards these hours, but travel as part of the employee’s job duties is. Lunch breaks are not considered working hours.
Do you have any questions about your job? Do you feel like your employment type may not match what you are being asked to do or the amount of work you are being given? If so, contact the Human Resources department in your company. If you feel your Human Resources department is not helpful or is hiding things, reach out to an employment solicitor to get to the bottom of your situation.
Remember that any employee is fully entitled to understanding the terms and conditions of their employment. No matter if you are a temporary or full-time employee at your company, you deserve to feel respected, heard, and valued!
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