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Britain experiences third largest rise in temporary workers in Europe, TUC reveals

Britain has had the third biggest rise in temporary workers in Europe between 2008 and 2015, according to research released by the Trade Union Congress this week. The report also revealed that the UK had the largest increase in the number of self-employed workers in the EU.

As the number of short-term assignments is on the rise, Catherine Sinclair (pictured), head of temporary talent at Sidekicks, explains the benefit of temporary working:

“Temping has a bad reputation but the reality couldn’t be further from the truth.

“Temping provides our candidates with the opportunity to work at some incredible companies, whilst at the same time offering a huge amount of flexibility as well as earning great money.

“Having temped myself, I know the doors it can open. Every time you go into a new booking and new company, you are afforded the chance to add to your box of tricks within an office environment. You are able to learn new systems, use different software packages and pick up incredible useful skills, which only add to your marketability and look amazing on your CV.

“However, it is not only about the hard skills, temping provides that all important ‘foot in the door’ to some of the country’s best and most competitive companies on top of the chance to network, network, network – making those all important contacts who could help you in getting your dream job.”

Short-term or temporary workers are employed by their recruitment agency, who take care of all aspects of employment such as tax and national insurance.

Sinclair added, “A lot of candidates don’t realise that they are offered additional protection by the agency workers regulations (AWR). After working for the same company for 13 weeks, they are entitled to the same benefits as permanent employees, such as holiday pay, sick pay, pensions and even access to bonus structures.”

Jessica Williams, managing director of Sidekicks, commented, “At a time when standing out from the crowd can be difficult, temping can help give you the edge, with clients prepared to pay excellent rates for top quality candidates.”

Jeanette Makings, head of financial education at Close Brothers, stated, “The UK workforce is continuing to evolve, with more people than ever now choosing to work for themselves for part or all of their career. While self-employment can provide many benefits such as greater flexibility and autonomy, this demographic often go without the same level of access to workplace benefits and are not easily reached en masse for help in planning to save for their future and the implications of ongoing changes to pensions, tax and investments. Understanding how to make the most of the financial opportunities in front of you is vital for every individual who wants to improve their financial wellbeing. However, unlike their employed counterparts, the self-employed don’t have an employer who can help them with access to a range of financial benefits, financial education and advice.

“But this isn’t just a problem for the self-employed and society at large, this also does impact the workplace as there are thousands of self-employed in the workplace, including partners in professional services firms, consultants and IT professionals. More emphasis must now be placed on creating effective communications channel to reach this growing population of workers, so they too can access the information, guidance and advice they need to navigate an increasingly complex economic environment.”

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