The Difference Between Temporary and Fixed-Term Contract

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When you get a different intérim et cdd contract, the duration is limited and there’s usually an end date on your employment. Temporary employees can be hired directly by a company or more commonly through recruitment agencies. They are paid the same as permanent staff and pay NI under PAYE in exactly the same way. Sometimes, if an employee is doing a great job on a temporary contract, they will be offered the chance to become a permanent member of the team.

As the name suggests, a fixed-term contract has an end date which is set in advance. It’s often used to fill project work, cover for maternity or sick leave, and meet short-term staffing needs. Fixed term contracts are generally viewed as less desirable than permanent positions by some employees.

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Employers can only terminate a fixed-term contract early if there’s a valid reason, specified in the contract or under applicable laws. This is known as the ‘duty to mitigate’. In practice, the duty to mitigate is rarely invoked because employers will be required to pay the salary for the remaining period of the contract. This compensation can be small or large depending on the length of the contract remaining.

Some people choose to be on a fixed-term contract and are comfortable with this arrangement, especially if they’re combining work with study or have other commitments that stop them from wanting full-time employment. But, it’s important to make sure that fixed-term contracts are only being used for their intended purpose and not to rob employees of their entitlements.