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The Rising Demand for Temporary Workers: What are the Risks for Employers?

The use of temporary and contract workers is on the rise as businesses aim to stay agile in uncertain economic times. However, with this growing trend comes potential risks that employers must mitigate.

In this post, we'll examine the key considerations when bringing on temporary staff, what can go wrong, and how having the proper insurance is critical to protect your business.

Why Companies Are Turning to Temporary Workers

The numbers speak for themselves - temporary job placements are booming. With over 1.6 million temp workers in the UK as of July 2023, it's the 4th largest employment sector.

The reasons for this growth are clear. Temporary workers allow businesses to scale up or down swiftly in response to changing demands. Companies are wary of long-term hires given economic uncertainty. Temps also provide key skills and extra bandwidth when needed for special projects.

For workers, temp gigs offer flexibility, variety, and opportunities to gain experience across different industries. It's a win-win situation when done right.

What Are the Key Risks for Employers?

While temporary workers provide agility, they also introduce potential risks that must be managed. As with all employees, you have a duty of care for their health and safety.

It's crucial to properly train and orient temp workers on policies, procedures, and job expectations. Ongoing communication and feedback provides support and helps avoid issues down the road.

There's also a risk of workplace injury claims from temporary staff. They have the same rights as permanent employees in this regard. Thorough record keeping on training, duties, and any incidents can help defend against claims.

Additionally, once a temp worker is hired, you assume liability just as with full-time employees. Reviewing agency contracts to delineate responsibilities is key.

The Importance of Insurance Protection

Employers Liability (EL) insurance is mandatory for any business with one or more employees. It protects against compensation claims if an employee gets injured or ill due to work. This applies equally to full-time and temporary staff.

Make sure your EL coverage is up to date and sufficient as your workforce shifts. Your insurer can help you understand potential risks and optimise your protection.

The Bottom Line

Temporary workers provide invaluable flexibility but also introduce new risks around safety, claims liability and regulatory compliance. Mitigate these by tightly controlling training and communications, maintaining detailed records, reviewing agency agreements and confirming appropriate insurance cover.

With the right risk management approach, you can tap into the benefits of a temporary workforce with confidence. Reach out if you need guidance optimising your business insurance.


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