The dos and don’ts of being a temporary worker

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There are many common misconceptions about the rights of temporary workers. Here we’ve laid out some dos and don’ts, covering everything from registering with an agency to knowing what your working rights are.

As a Temporary Worker – Don’t…

Forget that your contract is with the recruitment agency, not the company

If you have any questions about any aspect of your contract, then speak to your recruitment agency contact rather than your line manager. They’ll be the person who can help you resolve any contract problems, or advise you on your rights.

Work directly with a client that you were introduced to via an agency

Most contracts forbid candidates and clients from working together outside of the agency. If the company suggests that you do some extra work with them ‘on the side’, or if a company gets in touch with you directly after your consultant has put you forward for a role, you should tell your consultant immediately.

There are ways and means of allowing a candidate and a client to work together directly, but the consultant needs to be informed first. If the consultant is not informed, then a breach of contract has occurred and legal action will have to be taken.

Forget to send in your timesheet before the deadline

No timesheet, no pay – simple as that. Timesheets need to be delivered on time in order to be processed, otherwise there’s a good chance that you’ll need to wait until the following week to receive your pay.

Lie to your consultant

If you’ve had a better offer, or if you’re not interested in a job role, tell your consultant. Building trust with your consultant is key to a successful working relationship.


Be clear with the agency about your requirements

That way, you’ll only be considered for roles that meet your criteria – including things like location, salary, working hours etc.

Stay front-of-mind

Registering with an agency isn’t the end of the process. Agencies have thousands of people on their database, so even if you’ve already registered you should still apply for relevant jobs on their website so that you can be sure the recruiter will think of you.

Keep an open mind

Even if it’s not your dream job, it might be worth doing if it’s just a short contract. Similarly, if you’re looking for a long-term temp role and are offered a short contract, why not consider taking the contract to tide you over? Who knows what might come of it?

Remember that you are entitled to statutory sick pay

Many temps believe that they are not entitled to any sick pay, but you are – you are eligible for statutory sick pay.

Use all your holiday allowance

On a Devonshire contract, you start accumulating holiday time from the moment you begin a temp role. But our holiday year runs from January to December, so don’t forget to use your holiday up before the end of the year, otherwise you’ll lose it.

Check your payslip every week

You should always make sure you’ve been paid the correct amount – the sooner any mistakes are spotted, the easier and quicker they are to rectify.

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