What does it mean to be a temporary worker?

There are many different types of employment in Ireland such as being self-employed, working on a fixed-term contract, holding a permanent position and of course working as a Temporary Worker through a recruitment agency.

Temporary work can sometimes seem complicated to fully comprehend due to some of the legislation involved. Usually, temporary work is an ongoing position in a company, facilitated by a recruitment agency which will take responsibility in most cases for the hiring process.

The recruitment agency has its own clients which demand specific temporary workers for their business. Therefore, the agency works to fulfill these requirements matching candidates who are suited to the vacancy and the company.

There are many ways for job seekers to find a temporary job. You can go online and search on some of the popular jobs boards (eg. Jobs.ie, Gumtree or Indeed), social media (At Kaizen, we have also our own LinkedIn and Facebook pages, which have all updated vacancies). Of course, the traditional way of arranging a face to face meeting with a recruiter is still very popular.

Rights of Temporary Agency Workers

In terms of rights, temporary workers have their rights protected by the Protection of Employees (Temporary Agency Work) Act 2012. This regulation protects temporary workers under a temporary contract.

While agency workers do not have all the same employment rights as regular workers, under the EU Directive on Temporary Agency Work, temporary agency workers have the right to equal treatment in terms of basic working and employment conditions.

What Does it Mean to be a Temporary Worker

The Act provides a legal framework in which agency workers are entitled to parity with direct employees performing the same job in terms of base pay (including shift premiums and overtime rates), holiday entitlements, access to company facilities (canteens, childcare, gyms, etc.) and access to information on internal job vacancies. The Act does not cover benefits such as sick pay, pension, and bonuses.

Regarding the contract of employment, temporary workers are employed by the agency and therefore will receive payment of wages/holidays from the recruitment agency they are employed by and not the company where they are based.

Advantages of Being a Temporary Worker

There is a common perception that temporary work/contracting will be the way of the future workforce.

In the US, for example, more than 40% of the active workforce are working as temporary workers/contractors or on a fixed-term contract while in Ireland this number is closer to 25%. Both of these figures represent a significant number of the workforce.

There are many reasons for this growth. Firstly from the employees’ point of view many people like the flexibility that comes with temporary work to allow them to build experiences in a variety of positions/companies without having to give a long term commitment.

From the employer’s point of view, the opportunity to have a flexible workforce allows them to be more efficient and more agile in responding to the dynamic nature of business today. The traditional ‘job for life’ is becoming less and less common.

Secondly, from the temporary workers’ perspective, the hiring process is generally less complicated and is completed in less time than can be the case for permanent positions. It is not unheard for a candidate to be hired on a temporary contract within 24-48 hours of registering with a recruitment agency.

A common advantage for both the temporary worker and the hiring company is that it allows both to see where each other stands in terms of cultural fit. It is often the case that when there is a mutually good fit here that the temporary worker can receive the offer of a permanent contract within the company.

There are, like anything, some drawbacks to temping and it does not suit everyone’s situation. For example, a person who is applying for a mortgage may need to secure a permanent job before a bank will approve their loan.

Also, whilst for some people, the opportunity to move between companies and try new opportunities is appealing others may prefer to have the security of a permanent position.

Searching for a Temporary Job

It is very important when searching for and applying for temporary employment that you take the time to prepare accordingly.

For example, before you apply for a position you should take the time to prepare your CV. Some useful tips include matching your CV to the job description, choosing a clear layout and keeping your CV concise and to the point.

It is also important to highlight your most relevant skills and achievements in relation to what is being asked for in the position you are applying for.

While it can be effective to apply for positions directly on jobs boards, it is also beneficial to arrange a consultation with agency recruiters. This is an excellent way of building your network and will increase your chances of gaining temporary employment.

The recruiter can also provide some useful tips regarding your CV and also regarding interview preparation.


It is clear to see that the role of the temporary worker is becoming more important to companies as they look to remain agile and adapt to the ever-changing needs of businesses today. While there are some drawbacks, there are many advantages to taking on temporary contracts.

It is important to be prepared before applying for positions and there are lots of benefits to be gained by reaching out directly to an agency recruiter who can provide a lot of advice to you.

At Kaizen, we provide a wide range of temporary staffing solutions and we endeavour to find candidates the right role and company for them.

Why not reach out to us and arrange a consultation with one of our recruiters… you can get in touch here or call us on 01-6729000 to arrange your appointment today.

Author: Renato Gomes. Managed Services Co-Ordinator at Kaizen Recruitment.

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