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South East workers chasing work-life balance benefits of temporary work

Workers in the South East are attracted by the flexibility of temporary contracts in order to improve their work-life balance, gain greater variety of work and work for themselves, 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 report, 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, over a third (39%) of people living in the South East cited work-life balance as the key reason why they have pursued temporary work.

Access to a variety of work was mentioned as the next favoured reason at 31%, while more than a quarter (26%) believed a flexible and varied approach to gaining work experience would help boost their CV.  A fifth (20%) of those surveyed were drawn to the appeal of working for themselves.

However, the research also identified the reasons that deter workers from temporary working, with more than half (53%) of workers saying they prefer the security of a permanent role. Almost half (46%) identified that the benefits of a permanent role, such a pensions and sick pay, were important in their preference for permanent roles.

Despite income and financial security being of great concern, two thirds (66%) indicated that they were not worried about the disadvantages of non-permanent work when applying for mortgages or loans, and more than three quarters (80%) said that they weren’t concerned about having to work whenever possible.

Across the UK, temporary contracts are most common among workers early in 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, over a fifth (22%) of 25-34 year olds hold more than one temporary role. 10% said that they held more than four temporary roles at one time.

Collette Huckle, regional managing director of Reed South East, said: “Workers across the South East like the flexibility of temporary work, but are often held back by financial reasons. However, the South East’s thriving economy makes it ideal for workers to enjoy the benefits of temporary work. Information technology, engineering and environment technology are all industries with excellent opportunities for temporary workers.

“While these sectors provide major opportunities for workers, it is clear from our research that pensions and sick pay are some of the biggest hurdles for those thinking about temporary working. Fortunately, Reed Specialist Recruitment already has this covered with its own pension scheme for its PAYE temporary workers.

“A market with a plenty of temporary working opportunities benefits employers and employees. If employers can deliver the variety and quality of work, while at the same time keeping the important flexibility in a role that candidates desire, then they can capture the best temporary workers. The traditional 9-5 is disappearing. Temporary working and the flexibility which this provides is becoming more and more common.”

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