There may be times when it's best for your business to take on somebody on a fixed-term contract. This is one which either:
- Lasts for a specified time, set in advance
- Ends with the completion of a specified task
- Ends when a specified event does or does not take place
For example, if you're a shopkeeper you may want to take on someone for just three months to cover the busy run-up to Christmas. Or you may wish to employ someone specifically to cover for someone who is on maternity leave.
Pros and cons
Fixed-term contracts give you the advantage of bringing in specific skills and labour as and when they are needed.
It's important to remember that unless there are special circumstances which can be justified, you must treat fixed-term employees the same as comparable permanent employees. This means you must give them the same:
- Pay and conditions
- Or equivalent benefits package
- Or equivalent pension scheme
- Opportunity to apply for vacancies for permanent posts in the business
Fixed-term employees also have access to the same employment rights as their permanent equivalents.
You will need to make the same tax arrangements for fixed-term employees that you would for permanent employees.
For more information, visit HMRC: Employers
Employment agency - temporary staff