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A guide for temporary staff and your rights

24 November 2016

Taking on a temporary job can be a fantastic solution for both you and the employer but without a permanent contract, it can be difficult to know what your rights are in comparison to full-time staff.

When you’re working as a temporary employee you're still entitled to several working rights. At Zenrec Recruitment we believe these are important for both you and your new employer to understand, so we have listed them below in this easy guide.  


The hours you're expected to work should be set out when you first take on a new temporary position, and just like a full-time worker, there are certain regulations employers need to follow with you.

You're entitled to rest breaks, and there are limits on the overall amount of hours you can work in a week. You're entitled to a rest of at least 11 hours per 24 hours, a day off after a week's work, and the right to work a maximum of 48 hours in one week.

You’re also entitled to maternity, paternity, adoption and parental leave after a certain amount of time with the company, as well as time off for illness.


You must be paid at least the national minimum wage for your age group, and you are entitled to paid holiday too. Although it’s worth knowing that bank holidays may not apply to this rule, and that's something you'll need to check with your employer.

You're also entitled to statutory sick, maternity, paternity and adoption pay, although you won't usually be eligible for contractual sick pay (which would be provided to full time staff).

After 12 weeks, you will have the equivalent rights as someone who is permanently employed to do the same job at your place of work. So while the company is only required to pay you the minimum wage for the first 12 weeks, after that time you should be paid the same amount as a full-time member of staff. However if there is no permanent role, there is no expectation for equal treatment.

If the full-time member of staff is entitled to bonuses or overtime, after 12 weeks of working you can also expect to receive these benefits too.

If you’re unsure of the rights of full time staff, you can ask to see the terms and conditions of employment of somebody who is working in the same position as you, who has been directly hired by the company. Speak to your recruitment agency or your line manager to find out this information.

General treatment

From day one in your temporary job, you're entitled to some of the same rights as a full-time worker. For example, an important right is to be informed of new job vacancies (full-time or otherwise) that are opening at the company. Taking a temp job is often a great way to find a way into an organisation as jobs are usually advertised internally first, then to the companies recruitment agency, who you’ll have already met.  

You'll also be allowed to make use of any facilities that other full-time staff use, such as a canteen, childcare or transport. You're also entitled to the cover offered by health and safety regulations.

Like full-time staff, from day one you are not to be discriminated against for reasons including

  • Age 
  • Disability 
  • Gender 
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sexual orientation

What to do if you have a problem

When you're a temporary worker, it can be difficult to know who you should speak to if you feel something has gone wrong. For example, if you believe you've been treated unfairly or illegally in any way.

Your first port of call should always be your manager. If you feel uncomfortable speaking to them, try speaking to your recruitment agency-  if you have one as they may be able to help.

If you're unable to come to an agreement, or feel that you want to take a grievance further, then you should speak to the Citizens Advice Bureau or someone at ACAS (the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) who will be able to give you sound advice on what to do next.

We hope you found this guide to temporary job rights to be of help! 

If you are an employer and need help with your seasonal staffing, please contact Zenrec Recruitment to find out more information. You can do this by phone on +44 (0)28 3815 1112 or at We have new jobs on our website every week, with many exclusive, at plus excellent recruitment structures available for employers seeking to meet with talented and motivated candidates.

View our current live jobs here: Live Jobs 






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