By Advice

Traditionally, employment has been categorised under two separate processes, either permanent or contract. But what is the difference?


The most notable being permanent employment is an agreement between employer and employee to undertake certain work with a view of becoming an indefinite member of the workforce. In return, you are being offered the security of a regular monthly salary, a pension program designed for retirement and other employment perks such as highstreet discounts, medical/dental cover and child care assistance to

name a few.


Contracting, in brief, is an agreement of undertaking specialist work for a fixed duration.

This work differs from the standard employment we all know and have done. You can either be paid for every hour worked or if in agreement with both parties, on an ad-hoc/project basis. A contractor technically speaking is not an employee of the company instead is classed as a consultant. Most assimilate well into the team during their stint in the organisation and outstanding performance can result in an extension of contract or some cases, can lead to a permanent role.


What are the benefits of contracting?


The main perks of working as a contractor apart from working your hours are simply put, it can be more profitable. Due to the specialist nature of the work, contractors are in high demand and tends to be a popular step for career development, offering a new and fresh perspective. The money is usually greater than those of a permanent fixture. The main reason behind this is that contractors do not receive the same benefits as an employee.


As a specialist in your chosen field, your skills are highly sought-after and come at a premium. This will only help speed up the recruitment process. Most contractors experience a quick turnaround from being out of work to being in contract within a matter of days!


On the other side of the coin, when in full-time employment, you rarely need to be concerned with constant interviews, familiarising yourself with new systems and of course learning everyone’s name! You simply do your job and continue having peace of mind your livelihood is protected.


Why should I choose contracting over permanent employment?


Ah, the age-old question! At the end of the day, it is purely dependent on the circumstances of the individual. Most who opt for a contracting role over traditional employment prefer the benefit of “being your own boss” and the work-based freedom such as working your own hours. Due to the nature of this work, not only flexible/agile working is on offer, but also the freedom to build a network and reputation amongst your peers in your industry but also gives you a versatile set of skills that will allow you to adapt in any working environment.


On the other hand, working as a permanent member of staff allows the benefit of job security as well as the desire to be a part of a team and play an integral role in the growth of a business.



How do I know what is right for me?


The number one point is, to be honest in what work you want, what you want in your career and what work you can commit to.


Only available weekends and evenings? Only able to work two days per week? If so, contracting might be the way to go.


Want steady work and peace of mind knowing what exactly you will earn every month without fail? Looking for that opportunity to be part of a team helping the company go from strength to strength? Perhaps a permanent post is more suited for you.


To conclude


Contracting is a unique way of working resulting in creating opportunities and will be around in society for generations to come on the flip side, so will permanent employment due to job security and protection from this ever-changing world.


For further advice, do feel free to get in touch with our specialist team on 02081254321 or email


Ricky Sharpe

Lead Consultant – Environmental Health (Commercial), Licensing and Town Planning