Temp (or temporary) jobs sometimes have a negative stigma associated with them. It is often thought that employers are taking advantage of temporary workers by denying them the rights that permanent workers are entitled to. However, many amendments to labour laws have been made in recent years that bring the rights of temporary workers closer to those of permanent employees. For example, in Ontario, the Employment Standards Act was updated in 2009 to better protect temporary workers. Under this act, temporary workers have rights to public holidays, holiday pay, minimum wage, overtime pay, limits on hours of work, certain unpaid leaves, and many more*. Temporary work agencies also cannot prevent employers from giving references for temp workers, or hiring temp workers for permanent positions. This puts employees in a better position to find a long-term job.
In today’s crowded job market, there are many benefits to temporary positions:
1. Looking for temp jobs can increase your chances of employment
Some companies may not be able to afford hiring workers for long periods of time. Others only need employees for a short duration to fill seasonal demand or complete a project. By putting yourself in the temp job market, you open yourself up to more job opportunities. Because companies often hire temp workers in large volumes and the job market for temporary work is less crowded, it can be easier to secure temp employment versus permanent employment.
2. You get access to training to build your job skills and improve your resume
Often, job seekers are stuck in a cycle where they can’t get jobs without experience, but can’t gain experience without a job. A temp job will allow you to gain practical experience, while making professional connections within the company to improve your future job prospects.
3. Temp positions can be used as a “try-out”
If you are trying to decide on a career path, temp positions can allow you to dip your toes into a position or industry without making a full commitment. It can also allow you to explore companies you are interested in by getting a first-hand feel for the company’s culture.
4. Temp jobs offer more flexibility
Temp workers have greater control over their time. Because many positions are part-time, those seeking permanent jobs have time to both job hunt and earn an income while they are in between permanent positions. Temp workers also have more freedom to switch from company to company or role to role if they are unsatisfied. In addition, they have the freedom to take vacations or spend time with family between short-term jobs, unlike permanent positions where leave may be limited to two weeks per year.
A 2007 survey by Vox indicates that temp workers have a greater chance of finding employment and are more likely to receive higher wages when they do find a permanent position.
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*Source: Ontario Ministry of Labour