What’s best for you? Contract or Permanent employment?

Apr 22, 2021

What’s best for you, Contract or Permanent employment

If you’re looking for your next career move, then it’s always helpful to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of permanent employment compared with that of a contract role. 

Understanding the differences and knowing the benefits will help you in your future career choices and direction.  (Make sure to find out more about the range of job roles we now have available). 

Finding the right security role for you is vital.  And when it comes to contract vs. permanent, there is no right or wrong answer.  It is a decision that is entirely dependent on you and your circumstances. 

Some factors affecting your decision-making can include salary, hours of work, distance/travel, variety of work, etc. 

To help, in this post, we explore contract vs. permanent employment types so you can make the most informed decision for you.


Contracting vs. permanent employment 

Fire and security careers can be hard to find, but that still doesn’t mean you should take any job that comes along.  You need to find the right role and position for you, which also meets your lifestyle choices. 

if you’re looking for a good Fire and Security Recruitment Agency read our tips here.

Looking at contract employment vs. permanent employment further: 

Contract work = project-based or time-sensitive jobs, where people are brought in for short periods because of the skills they can bring to the project.  Contract work allows you to meet new people, work for different companies, manage different challenges, and take up international work.  However, you must apply for all new contracts, so work is not guaranteed, and this part of the process can be highly time-consuming. 

Permanent work – work here is as a full-time, salaried position.  Ultimately you work a set number of agreed hours per week and you’re paid in return.  Permanent is the most stable form of employment, allowing you to map out your future easier, especially when it comes to career progression. 

Permanent vs. contract 

Are you thinking about becoming a contractor? 

Setting yourself up in a contractor role can provide you with many benefits.  For example, you can receive a higher pay rate (as you are often hired due to a specialist skill you can provide) and benefit from tax savings (as you operate as a limited company or under an umbrella company). 

As a contractor, you will also be your own manager.  Meaning you have the flexibility to choose a job in security that you want to work on, fitting these contracts in around your lifestyle. 

Because of this flexibility, you can also create variation in your role.  Every project and job can be different so that every contract can present different opportunities and challenges. 

Due to jumping from one contract to another, you’ll automatically build up a network of industry connections that you can call on in the future and who can ultimately lead you to your next assignment. 

However, even with the flexibility and growing network of contacts, there are disadvantages to working as a contractor. 

The main one…job security. 

If demand for your skillset drops, or maybe the project suddenly ends abruptly, your job and your contract will most likely be the first to be terminated.  Staying on top of your skills development is the only way you can minimise this risk; however, nothing is guaranteed. 

As you are responsible for everything as a contractor, this also includes all paperwork and admin!  This means that you may still have to come back to a mountain of paperwork at the end of your working day! 

Then, as one contract ends, you will have to go through the process, yet again, to apply for other contracts, i.e., further work.  And trust us, nothing is guaranteed as every application process, and every project will be different. 

Working as a contractor for a company, no matter the length of time you are there, still means you aren’t entitled to the same benefits and perks as those permanent employees.  For example, you won’t have a holiday allowance, you’re not entitled to sick pay, and you have to find and pay for your own training and development.  In these instances, ultimately, you must make your own provisions. 

Permanent contracts in the UK 

Moving on to permanent employment and one of the main benefits of looking for permanent jobs in security is job security. 

You now have a guaranteed income and a long-term position that can provide you with considerable peace of mind. 

You also benefit from becoming part of a team.  You’ll soon become ingrained into the business, into the culture, the ethos, and soon feel very much part of the furniture – great if you’re looking for stability. 

There are also greater opportunities for career progression.  Often there is a clear path for promotion or even side-stepping into other departments to test the water if you feel pulled in different directions.  Progressing to the next level in your career is easier for a permanent employee and often built into annual reviews. 

As a permanent employee, you’re also entitled to all company benefits!  This could range from bonuses, holidays, sick pay, pension plans, healthcare schemes, travel expenses, car allowances, training and development, and more – the list is endless! 

The disadvantages for opting for a permanent contract is a potentially lower salary compared to contractors (however, this is often made up with other benefits), lack of flexibility, i.e., your working routine/times can be set (however, with flexible and remote working this is changing), limited job variation (your day-to-day role will vary very little during your time in a particular position). 

Security job vacancies are very specific and, in some instances, can be very niche.  At Secure and Recruit, we help to find the job that you not only want but a job that suits you.  (Often permanent roles are more favourable due to the stability and option for career progression they provide.) 

To see how we can help you in your job search, call us on 01480 275 700.