What is a Contractor?

There are basically 3 different ways you can be employed in a job in the UK and in this article we look at what and who a Contractor is.

A Contractor is different to a Temp (even though they may both work for an end client through an Agency) because:

  • A Temp will be paid by the Agency. The work they do is under the Client’s control like any permanent employee (you are supervised and are told what times to start and finish work, and what to do). Temps are eligible for holiday and sick pay. From October 2011 they will be, in most circumstances, eligible for ‘equal treatment’ under the new Agency Worker Regulations. Temping is often done in the short-term and/or for a transitional period while they look for another permanent job.
  • A Contractor, however, is responsible for their own ‘business’ dealings and has control of how and when they do their work. They would either be employed through an Umbrella Company for the purpose of paying them (and paying their taxes) or have their own Limited Company or be a Sole-Trader and pay their own taxes. They may or may not work through an Agency. They can have a series of assignments from several clients at the same time. They may hire a ‘substitute’ to do the work for them. Contractors are generally higher-paid ‘professionals’ who are contracting in the long-term.

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The Human Resources Consultancy service for SME's in the UK creative industries

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