Regardless of the timespan, an employee is going to be working for your organization, there’s a need to have a legally binding temporary employment contract in place. A fixed-term employment (or temporary) contract safeguards both employer and employee, as well as provides a clear record of the responsibilities, rewards, and expectations both parties are agreeing to.
Although many organizations use a legal professional to write their temporary employment contracts, it’s perfectly possible to do the job yourself. Read on to discover how to write a temporary employment contract, as well as information on some of the FAQs that temporary employment contract writers ask.
What is a Temporary Employment Contract?
Just like any other employment contract, a temporary employment contract is a legally binding agreement between the employer and the employee. It covers both rights and responsibilities, ensuring both parties are clear about what’s required.
Although the content differs between different types of contracts (for example a freelance contract will have differing details to an independent contractor contract), the basic format will remain the same.
There is no legal definition of how long a temporary employment contract may last. That said, advice from the DoL, as well as general good practice, suggests that a fixed-term contract should not last for longer than a year. If the employee is still required after a year, it is recommended that they are re-employed on a permanent contract.
If there is concern about employment not being available for the entire 12-month period, this can be reflected in the wording around hours worked (creating a casual contract), by making it clear that on some occasions there may be no need for the employee to work, but, when they do, they do so under the terms laid out in the contract.
The key difference is that contract employment has no fixed end date included on the contract. Temporary employment will have a fixed term, with the end date specified on the contract. Other than this, both temporary and permanent contracts may be identical for the same job.
How to Write a Temporary Employment Contract
The following pieces of information need to be included in a temporary employment contract.
1. Names of the Employer and Employee
This ensures it’s clear who the contract is between.
2. Job Title and Description
This section of the contract is designed to set out the responsibilities that the employee has during their employment period. The exact level of detail will depend on the nature of the post, and also the level of seniority – more senior roles tend to focus more on outcomes rather than be process-driven.
When writing a job description for a temporary employee, it’s important to take the probable duration of their employment into consideration – some outcomes may not be appropriate, as they are long-term goals. Descriptors should be clear and, ideally, measurable. Measurable descriptors make it easier to provide transparent performance assessment further down the line.
3. Financial Compensation
This may be a salary, a daily rate, or, in some cases, a set amount that covers a pre-agreed number of hours.
4. Work Pattern
You may wish to include the number of hours to be worked if this is applicable – some temporary workers may only be required “as and when” whereas others will be needed for a set number of hours each week. If applicable, include expectations around the times of the hours to be worked (9-5, for example), as well as expectations around weekend working, shift working, or working during the holidays, if applicable.
5. Start Date
The date on which employment with your organization commences.
6. The Term of Employment
A temporary term of employment can be differentiated from a permanent contract in that there will be an end date. Although legally there is no definition of how long a temporary contract may be, conventional best practice is that a temporary contract lasts no longer than a year. It’s also considered best practice that if the worker is still required after successfully completing their 12-month contract, the position is converted into a permanent position, and a fresh contract is drawn up and signed on that basis.
It is important to stipulate how long the contract lasts – there needs to be a clear end date, after which the contract is no longer valid.
7. Temporary Employment Contract Notice Period
Stipulate how much notice your temporary employee needs to give before leaving your service. Typically, notice periods for temporary employees tend to be less than those required from permanent employees.
This covers any non-financial perks or benefits that the temporary employee will enjoy. Typical examples include assistance with childcare, a subsidized canteen, paid vacation entitlement, and/or health insurance.
9. Confidentiality, Non-solicitation, and Non-complete Clauses
These clauses protect the employer by stipulating that the employee must not disclose confidential information about the organization to a third party, must not encourage other workers to leave with them in the event that they leave the organization, and prohibits a temporary employee from getting a job with a competitor.
10. Work for Hire Clause
This clause is intended to prevent an employee from taking products or information from the company to be used elsewhere.
11. Agency Provision
The employee signs to say they can’t enter into a written agreement on behalf of the organization unless they have obtained written consent.
12. Causes for Termination of Employment
This section sets out expectations around conduct in the workplace
Temporary Employment Contract Sample
This fixed-term employment contract sample provides a comprehensive temporary employment contract template pdf that can be customized to meet the specific needs of your organization. Use this temporary employment contract sample as a base on which to build a temporary employment contract that provides the legally binding document that your organization needs: