Job Hunting Tips

Temp vs Contract – What’s the Difference?

Posted by Kaitlyn
min read
Cytonn Photography G Jao3 Ztx9g U Unsplash

Understanding the differences between temporary and contract work as a job seeker can be confusing. Both options offer advantages to workers who aren’t ready to commit to that permanent role just yet, but it’s important to know which option is best for you when looking for your next role.

Below is a cheat sheet to help you understand the key differences between temp and contract work:


Temporary work typically ranges from a few hours to a few weeks. Businesses often use temp workers to cover the short-term absences of permanent employees and the length of a temp role can be unpredictable.

Contract work is often undertaken for a specific length of time, such as a 3, 6 or 12 months contract. Contracts can be fixed-term or renewable and contractors are aware of the expected duration of their contract and when it is due to end.


Temp workers are paid and employed by the recruiting/on hire agency on an hourly basis. They do not accrue sick or annual leave.

Contractors are paid and employed directly for the period of the contract. They accrue both sick and annual leave.


Temp work is great for people who like the flexibility of casual, hourly work. Many use temping as a way to gain experience in a new area or to learn a new system, or for income while they seek a more permanent role or because they are on a travelling holiday.

Contract work offers a predictable pattern of work and contractors are aware of the duration of their role in advance and the completion date.


Temporary work is never guaranteed. It is paid from one hour to the next and circumstances can change very quickly, such as the work is no longer available. Temporary workers do not accrue sick or annual leave.

Contract work is not as flexible as temp work. When you agree to take on a contract role, you are expected to work for the duration of the contract.


Understanding the differences between temp and contract work will help you narrow your job search and find the right role for you. Questions? Don’t hesitate to give us a call on 07 3118 0125!