A temporary worker is a person who is brought in to fill a role or position within a workplace for a short period of time. Although the name temporary suggests short term, the job may actually last anywhere from a few weeks to a number of years. The worker may be under contract for a set period of time or may have an ongoing contract.
There are many reasons why people take temporary employment. They may be returning to work after a long period of illness or after being a full time mother. They may want to start a career within a particular business. Starting off as a temporary worker may be the easiest way to gain employment within their chosen sector. There are many temps who have started off working in the mail room and progressed to managing a company.
There are many agencies that deal only with temporary workers. These agencies usually take a cut of the money they receive from the employer. They pay the temp an hourly rate, which is commonly paid weekly. When you apply to an employment agency, you can inform them whether you wish to work solely temporarily, or if you would like to be considered for permanent employment.
The range of jobs available to the temporary worker is diverse. From nursing to administrative work, construction to factory work, Information Technology to temporary managers, there are temp agencies that cover them all. A lot of agencies deal with only one part of the employment sector. There are agencies that deal specifically with bar staff or construction staff, for example, and you should research which agencies best suit your skills.
The temp agency will check your resume and references, and then place you on a register until work becomes available. For some jobs, you may be required to take a few tests during the registration process. Basic administration jobs may require you to take typing or computer tests.
There are a number of downsides to becoming a temporary worker. The pay rate is usually lower than that of a permanent worker. There is also no guarantee that a job will last for very long. An ongoing job may finish whenever the employer requests, with no prior notice needed.
Holiday and sick benefits may also vary from agency to agency. Some agencies require that you build up time before you can acquire any holiday pay. Some agencies provide no sick benefits, so if you are sick, you may not receive any pay.
One of the main gripes of the temporary worker is that he or she been kept as a temp for years without any sign of being made permanent. Many employers keep on tempos due to the benefits of not having to pay sickness or holiday wages. The temporary worker can also be given extra work without the employer paying any extra wages. It is best that the worker sets a realistic progression time scale in order to prevent this from happening.