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The UK’s construction industry is known for hiring a certain amount of contractual workers on a project basis. Today, the majority of the workforce also includes non-construction professionals, technical, information technology, and office staff. For countless UK construction firms, hiring contractual work has proven to be efficient.

If you’re looking to take on this type of contractual work or if your business wants to explore this, read on to discover what to know about contractual work in UK construction firms.

Understanding Contractual Work

Contract work refers to services provided on an as-needed basis to a client for a period of time ranging from a few weeks to several months. This method is used in both the copywriting and information technology consulting industries.

Contract work provides flexibility that benefits both the employee and the employer. Contract employees may work for a variety of companies and projects throughout the year. Contract employees can bring specialised skill sets to specific projects. This can be a quick and cost-effective way to fill skill gaps without hiring new employees.

Contract work usually entails more money, flexibility, control, and knowledge. However, this also entails other responsibilities, such as handling your own financial affairs, including taxes, and you will be ineligible for any employment benefits.

Before beginning any contract work, it is critical to consider the tax implications. You could be working for yourself, in which case you are responsible for paying your own taxes.

The IR35 tax law is something that all contract workers should be aware of. This is done to combat the practice of “disguised employment,” which occurs when a person is ostensibly employed but their employer considers them to be self-employed instead. Independent contractors should take precautions to avoid IR35, particularly when drafting contracts.

The Agency Contract Employment

Employees of staffing agencies can also fill temporary openings in positions. Temporary employees are sometimes referred to as “temps.” Your company has a contract with the staffing agency, not with the individual employee. As such, you pay the agency, which may include national insurance contributions (NICs) and Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), and in exchange, they provide skilled labour tailored to your needs.

An agency can provide employment in case of unexpected employee departure or unplanned absences, hire more manpower for the holidays, and cover for a certain position. An agency’s average length of employment is less than twelve weeks. Agency workers are eligible for the same benefits as permanent employees after twelve weeks, including the same pay, holidays, and breaks. Even if the agency is in charge of providing employers’ liability insurance, it is still your responsibility to keep the workplace safe.

The Fixed-Term Employment

One common strategy for staffing a company for a set period of time is to hire fixed-term employees. Employees hired on a fixed-term basis are employed for a set period of time or to complete a specific project.

Temporary employees should be afforded the same legal protections and rights as permanent employees. All fixed-term employees must have certain deductions taken from their pay, such as employer’s liability insurance, NICs, taxes, and other deductions.

Employees hired on a permanent basis have longer contracts than temporary employees. Permanent employees must be “terminated” when their employment contract expires, whereas fixed-term employees are not. Once the term of a fixed-term employee’s contract has expired, no further action is required.


Contractual employment, indeed, brings on a number of advantages for workers and businesses everywhere. Although, one thing we must reiterate is that both employers and employees also have responsibilities to carry out tasks, work, and dues in an efficient and dignified manner. Now that you are more familiar with contractual work in UK construction firms, perhaps it’s time to see if this route is for you.

Are you looking for a construction agency in London? Phillip Shaun Construction is a team of professionals that can provide you with seamless recruitment services. Get in touch with us today!