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Spotlight on Benefits - Temporary & Contract Market

09 May 2024 |

By Nick Coleridge-Watts and Felicity Ambler

Office building

Following on from our Spotlight on Benefits which focused on permanent hiring, we’ve created a similar overview of the temporary and contract market.

For some the words "benefits” and “temp” might not go together, however that isn’t necessarily the case. Just like in the permanent market, temps and contractors often take a holistic view of what a company is offering. In this document, we’ll guide you through the standard and expectations and competitive offerings.

There are four broad categories of personnel under the microscope: temps who do short-term covers (either back-to-back or with breaks in-between), ongoing temps, temp-to-perms and fixed-term employees (contractors).

Ad hoc Temps

Ad hoc temps don’t tend to receive many benefits beyond those determined by the Agency Worker Regulations, which give all temps access to basic rights from the start, and some comparable benefits to permanent workers after 12 weeks.

Aside from competitive pay, extending daily meal allowances and other day-to-day perks to temps can determine whether they choose to return or prioritise somewhere else, as will a positive culture.

Ongoing Temps

With recent pressure on headcount, there’s been an increase in companies wanting to fill fulltime positions with long-term temps. Some of these are candidates who are happy temping, but others are those who would rather be in permanent work. To retain this population until headcount is granted, it’s wise to consider the following:

Increased pay to compensate for lack of access to permanent benefits such as discretionary bonuses, good pension, medical etc.

Bonuses themselves are something that temps in ongoing bookings sometimes receive with extreme gratitude!

Hybrid working, either mimicking the permanent staff or with greater flexibility.

Contract Roles

Contractors should have access to the same benefits that permanent employees have but some things to note:

Bonuses can be a determining factor in attracting talent to contract roles, and while a prorated one in step with the entire company’s business cycle are good, completion bonuses are the best way to hold a contractor in situ.

Inclusion in company activities like offsites, summer parties and overseas trips can often influence a contractor’s commitment.


Candidates in this position need security; although they accept, they may not be converted to perm for performance reasons, a set timeline for conversion, swift integration into company culture and positive feedback is the best way to prevent temp-to-perms from restarting their searches before their probation is up.

Thought About Holiday Cover Yet?

Finally, with summer approaching, if you have any upcoming needs please do reach out – it’s never too early to explore temp options!

For further information or to arrange a call with a VWA Consultant, please contact recruit@vwa.com or call 020 7225 1888

The VWA Team

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