Permanent vs temporary work

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Permanent vs temporary work
Liv Shaw

Permanent vs temporary work

The number of job applications in the UK remains on the rise, with 59.5 million applications in 2022 – up 19% from 2021 – but with more opportunities out there and so many different ways to work, how do you know what’s the best fit for you?

The number of job applications in the UK remains on the rise, with 59.5 million applications in 2022 – up 19% from 2021 – but with more opportunities out there and so many different ways to work, how do you know what’s the best fit for you? In this blog, we’ll break down the basics of temporary and permanent roles, and the key differences and benefits for each position that will assist you in choosing the best kind of role for you.


Temporary roles are ideal for candidates who need flexibility and prefer short-term work, whereas permanent roles are perfect for candidates who want to commit to a long-term position.

Some other key differences include:

  • Temporary positions are undertaken for a set amount of time, with specified start and end dates in your contract, in contrast to permanent roles that have no set end-date until you leave the workplace or receive a promotion
  • Permanent roles offer a yearly salary paid to candidates on a regular basis, with temporary workers paid an agreed hourly rate
  • Benefits packages for the two role types significantly vary, with temporary work benefit packages and holiday allowances being based on the hours you work and permanent work typically offering a set amount of holidays per calendar year, a workplace pension and other benefit schemes that workers have full access to
  • There is room for progression in many permanent roles whilst temporary contracts are exactly that – temporary, and often last up to one year


Permanent and temporary work may be very different, but they both offer many positives which provide candidates with a better picture in selecting the best type of role for them. Some benefits of the two role types are:

Permanent positions

  • Remaining with an employer for a long period of time allows candidates to develop working relationships and connections
  • Benefits packages are clearly outlined from the beginning of employment
  • Greater stability and less time spent learning the ropes in each new role
  • Investment in learning and development supports with climbing the career ladder
  • The pandemic has paved the way for flexibility within permanent employment with flexitime and hybrid working regularly on offer

Temporary positions

  • Highly flexible and allows you to fit roles around your schedule, with breaks between positions
  • Possibility to pursue a variety of interests and gain valuable experience in multiple sectors
  • Temporary roles can help fill employment gaps for candidates in-between roles
  • Helps in developing new skills in niche, new areas

Choosing what’s right for you

Based on the above, you’ll be able to narrow down what is the best fit for you right now. It’s worth mentioning that temporary work contracts can be extended, or subject to change, depending on the nature of the role. Similarly, even though permanent roles are allowing more flexibility, it will not offer the same freedom that a temporary role does when it comes to taking time off and long breaks.

With factors such as the cost of living crisis leading many candidates to search for roles with better pay and more flexibility, interest in temporary roles has continued to grow with a total of 1.69 million temporary workers from September to November 2022. It isn’t just temporary roles receiving interest though, with the number of permanent roles advertised in 2022 accounting for 69% of all jobs.

It's clear that both temporary and permanent roles are on the rise, meaning that there has never been a better time to find a role that fits your needs. Check out our latest roles to find the best jobs in technology, digital and change now. You can also click here to read more candidate insights.

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