AT A GLANCE

  • The Trade Union Congress (TUC) recently reported that three out of every ten jobs in the United Kingdom are temporary
  • 36 percent of workers in the UK have worked as a contractor, freelancer, or agency worker at some point in their career, and 41 percent are considering working that way in the future
  • Temporary work is gaining momentum due to the opportunities it offers for more flexibility and control over work-life balance

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Aug 01, 2014

Temp Employment Rising in the UK

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) recently reported that three out of every ten jobs in the United Kingdom are temporary. Fixed terms or contracts are becoming the increasingly popular in the country. According to a report by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG, the growth of temp engagement has increased at its fastest pace in over 15 years.

The hourly rates of pay for temporary and contract jobs also has been increasing with the growth rate at its highest levels since December 2007.

A separate report by REC published in July 2014 states that 36 percent of workers in the UK have worked as a contractor, freelancer, or agency worker at some point in their career, and 41 percent are considering working that way in the future. According to the REC, on any given day, recruiters place 1.1 million people into temporary work positions.

Temporary Work in the U.K. Facts and Figures

Temporary Work in the U.K. Facts and Figures

Source: REC

Temporary work is gaining momentum due to the opportunities it offers for more flexibility and control over work-life balance. One in four people stated that they worked as a temporary worker to allow more flexibility. While motivations for choosing temp work vary, respondents to the REC survey generally agree that being a temp worker in the UK is particularly advantageous for entry level workers, those with specialized skills, adults with caring responsibilities, and workers approaching retirement.

Advantages of Temporary Work

worker type

Source: REC

“Working as a contractor, freelancer or agency worker is a choice for many people, and flexibility is a key reason they opt for it. Sometimes temporary work is looked down on as a second rate or a dead-end career choice. But if you talk to people who work this way, they value being able to fit work around family commitments, can earn more, or are using temporary assignments to pick up specific skills and experience they couldn’t get elsewhere.” ~Kelvin Green, Chief Executive at REC

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