The latest data from the Office for National Statistics shows that the number of temporary workers in the UK increased by 2.3% in April compared to the same month last year. This is the highest annual growth rate since June 2019, before the pandemic hit the economy.
One of the main reasons for this trend is the uncertainty around the outlook for the recovery and the impact of new variants of the coronavirus. Many employers are reluctant to commit to permanent hires until they have more clarity on the demand for their products and services. They prefer to use temporary staff who can be easily hired and let go as needed.
Temporary workers offer flexibility and cost-effectiveness for businesses that need to adapt quickly to changing market conditions. They also provide a pool of talent and skills that can be tapped into when required. However, there are also some drawbacks to relying too much on temp staff. For example, they may have lower levels of loyalty, engagement and productivity than permanent employees. They may also face more insecurity, instability and discrimination in their work environment.
Therefore, it is important for both employers and workers to balance the benefits and risks of temporary work. Employers should ensure that they treat their temp staff fairly and respectfully, provide them with adequate training and support, and offer them opportunities for career development and progression. Workers should be aware of their rights and responsibilities as temporary employees, seek feedback and guidance from their managers and colleagues, and keep their skills and knowledge up to date.