Hiring temps is a popular solution to a temporary skills shortage. Rather than expecting the rest of your team to pick up the slack if an employee goes on sick leave or takes a holiday, you can hire a temp to come in and perform their duties for as long as you need them. However, before you jump in and hire a temp, there are a few things you need to know.
Do I Need a Temp?
Firstly, decide whether you actually need to hire a temporary worker. If one of the team is taking an extended holiday or is on sick leave, consider whether someone else might be able to take up their duties for a while. Or, you may be able to spread out various tasks across the whole team without creating too many problems. Just be careful not to overload your other team members with too much extra work. That will only cause resentment and lead to low morale.
If you can’t plug the gap in-house, hiring a temp could be a smart solution.
Temps Vs. Freelancers
The next task is to think about whether you need to contact a temp agency or look online for a freelancer to provide the skills you need. In some cases, freelancers are a better fit. For example, if you run a content marketing agency and one of your staff writers is out of action for a few weeks, hiring a freelance writer is probably the best option. But, if you need some extra help with the admin to cover a busy sales period, or your PA is on maternity leave, contacting a temp agency would be a better solution.
Hiring temporary staff is easy if you use a temp agency. Temps are typically hired from the local geographical area. So, anyone living in London who needs some part-time or temporary income can find temporary work in London with Staff Heroes. Therefore, if your London-based business needs a temporary receptionist, they could contact a local temp agency and be sent someone suitable immediately.
Temp agencies keep a database of people who can work in many different areas, from manual labourers and construction personnel to admin staff and carers. If you need someone to fill a gap in your organisation, a temp agency should be your first port of call.
Just because a temp is only working for you for a limited time, it doesn’t mean they have no rights. Under UK employment law, temporary workers have the right to access communal workers facilities, including toilets, car parks, and canteens. They must be told if there are any suitable internal job vacancies available. They have the right to equal working conditions and paid leave, and they can’t be made to work more than 48 hours a week unless there is an arrangement in place.
If a temporary worker is with you for more than 12 weeks, they must be treated as an employee, i.e. paid the same wage as an employee in a comparable job and paid overtime, holiday pay, and entitled to bonuses. Be aware that this 12-week qualifying period does not need to be continuous, so if a temp works for you over several months, but it all adds up to 12 weeks, they must be treated as a normal employee.
The Key Differences
There are differences. Temporary workers can be dismissed without notice and you don’t need to pay them redundancy pay, maternity pay, etc.
If you are thinking about hiring a temporary worker, make sure you are aware of their rights and yours. Lastly, remember that even temporary workers must receive adequate training for the job they are expected to perform.