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East of England workers adopt temporary recruitment strategy to support work-life balance aspirations

The East of England has the fourth highest percentage (11%) of people considering non-permanent work as their main role, opting for multiple jobs and the flexibility of temporary contracts to improve their work-life balance, according to research released today (Tuesday 3 December 2019). 

The research, carried out by recruitment experts Reed Specialist Recruitment for its Temporary isn’t Temporary campaign, surveyed 5,000 workers and looked at their experience of, and attitude to, temporary and multiple career roles.

When asked about the positive benefits of temporary or short-term working contracts, a third (33%) of people living in the East of England cited work-life balance as the key reason why they have followed this career structure.

Access to a variety of work was mentioned as the next favoured reason at 30%. And, nearly one in five (19%) believed a flexible and varied approach to gaining work experience would help boost their CV.

The survey also identified the reasons that workers are being deterred from temporary working with more than half (53%) of workers saying they prefer the security of a permanent role, and 43% identifying the benefits of permanent roles, such as pensions or sick pay, as important to them.

Despite these reasons of income and financial security being of great concern more than two thirds (71%) indicated that they were not worried about the disadvantages of non-permanent work when applying for mortgages or loans. And more than three quarters (78%) said they were not concerned they would have to work whenever possible.

Across the UK temporary contracts also seem to be most used by the next generation at the beginning of their careers with 17% of 25-34 year olds considering temporary employment to be their main role.

While a significant number of this age group work permanently, there is also greater than a fifth (21%) of 25-34 year olds holding more than one temporary role and 11% holding more than four temporary roles at one time.

Matt White, regional managing director of Reed East Anglia, said: “For workers in East Anglia temporary working is very appealing due to the flexibility and variety of experience that comes with it.

"We also have strong technology and science businesses in the region, with this being a sector that lends itself to lucrative contract work. With 13% of technology workers holding down three or more jobs it is clear why there is such a high percentage of non-temporary workers in the region.

“Our research clearly indicates that the concerns that people have about temporary working all seem to stem from financial and security reasons. However, our agency is set up for temporary working offering PAYE temporary workers pension, holiday pay and sick pay. Workers in certain sectors have the opportunity to win lucrative contracts which can help towards that pension.

“If employers can deliver the variety and quality of work, at the same time as keeping the important flexibility in a role that candidates desire, then they can capture the best temporary workers. At Reed Specialist Recruitment we have seen the benefits this can bring to businesses that may not be able to take on talented individualsin permanent roles, but can benefit from their wisdom through a short-term contract. We all know , as technology emerges, the traditional 9-to-5 job is becoming less prevalent. I expect temporary working will become more and more common in the coming years to meet the needs of both businesses and individuals.”