UK sees increase in temporary workers and jobs post pandemic

During times of economic difficulty, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses will want to find a solution for an economic recovery as fast as possible. One way to do this is by making use of a flexible workforce, such as temporary employees.

During the three-month period from March – May 2021, the number of temporary employees in the UK increased by 4.9%, when compared to the same period a year ago. Temporary workers include those who are on fixed-period contracts, temporary agency workers, casual workers, seasonal workers and others in temporary work. 5.7% of total employment were temporary employees, up from 5.4% when compared to a year ago. Of 1.57 million temporary employees during this period, 743,167 were men while 830,403 were women.

Unemployment rate

Between March and May 2021, the UK unemployment rate was estimated at 4.9%, 0.9% higher than before the pandemic, but 0.2% lower than the previous quarter. For the three months ending May 2021, the highest employment rate in the UK was in London (6.5%) and the lowest was in Northern Ireland (3.6%). However the labour market is continuing to recover with the number of job vacancies rising strongly.

Demand for workers

While this increase in employment opportunities is an encouraging sign for the post Covid economy, the expertise of recruitment businesses will be needed more than ever. With demand for staff incredibly high right now, recruiters are working tirelessly to fill roles, but in sectors such as the logistics, hospitality and IT, serious worker shortages could slow down the economic recovery.

Available talent pools have also been affected by Brexit and the roll out of the IR35 earlier this year. Temporary workers play a critical role in filling sudden spikes in demand and resourcing gaps, but this segment of the workforce has been negatively impacted by the IR35 roll out and the complexity around employing candidates from Europe following Brexit.

For companies who do decide to employ workers from abroad, or place workers in other countries, it is important to make sure you comply with local laws.  Whether the end user company directly engages with the worker or not, the liability to ensure local laws are being followed will always fall with the company where the work is being done. Compliance can therefore be a theoretical minefield for businesses.

Using a 3rd party employment and compliance specialist can help remove this risk. One watertight way of ensuring compliance is to properly employ the worker. Whenever a contract worker is employed, as opposed to self-employed, the party acting as employer can absorb the burden of liability on behalf of the end user company.

How TCP can help?

TCP Solutions is part of the People 2.0 group of companies, who is the leading provider of contingent workforce engagement solutions within the U.S. and globally.

Would you like further information about how we could assist you and your company regarding working with temporary workers and contractors, then please contact us via or send us a message via our contact page. We would be delighted to speak to you regarding the possibilities.

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