What's the difference between temporary employment and secondment?

Temporary employment, secondment, recruitment and selection, payrolling. These are terms you probably know, but the difference is still not entirely clear to you. Temporary employment and secondment in particular are often confused. That's not surprising. You work as a temporary worker for both temporary employment and secondment, and you have the opportunity to view many different organizations. 

How does temporary employment differ from secondment ? We explain the 3 main differences here!

1. A formal employment relationship vs. the agency clause 

The major difference between a temporary employment contract and a secondment agreement is the difference in security. Are you seconded? Then the secondment organization is your employer, so you have a contract with them. The duration of the contract is often longer term. At Brunel, for example, you often immediately get an annual contract, which also includes a notice period — even if the assignment doesn't last the full year. Permanent employment is also an option. As a seconded worker, you have many of the same securities as with a permanent job and often also attractive secondary benefits.

The difference in certainty between temporary employment and secondment can be seen in the temporary employment clause. The first 78 weeks of working as a temporary worker, you have few certainties, and your contract usually contains a temporary employment clause. This means that the end of the assignment you are working on is also the end of the temporary employment contract. The temporary employment agency does not then have to continue to pay you if there is no work. No work means no wages. But it also works the other way around: as a temporary worker, you can also decide to stop working at any time. 

2. Specialized vs. general

Are you a specialist in your field? Or do you already have several years of work experience? Then working via a secondment can be a good opportunity for you.

“Organizations usually come to us when there is a change in the regular staffing. For example, due to illness or leave of an employee. They are then looking for a temporary employee with sufficient knowledge and experience, so that the work can be taken over quickly. Sometimes an organization also temporarily needs extra knowledge, for example during a complex project. They are then looking for someone with specialist knowledge of their industry. We then look for a Bruneller who fits this and who would like to work for the organization. If we can't find a suitable employee, or if you as a Bruneller are very motivated to get started but don't yet have all the necessary knowledge? Then we also like to invest in training opportunities."

- Paul Tan, Sourcing Consultant  Legal at Brunel

Are you looking for a temporary job where you can start quickly? For example, to bridge a period between two jobs? Or because you want to work a few hours a week in addition to your education? Then working through a temporary employment agency can be a good solution. There is almost always a project where you can get started in the short term. And because companies often do not look for employees with specialist knowledge or experience, the application process is very fast. The temporary employment agency shares your CV with the company and mediates on your behalf. Often an introductory meeting is then enough to be deployed on a project.

3. Long vs. short 

The relationship between a worker and a secondment organization is often more sustainable than the relationship between a temporary worker and a temporary employment agency. Temporary agency work is often of short duration, and extra staffing is chosen through an employment agency, especially during peak times. In general, you will be deployed for a longer period via a secondment organization. This often results in a close relationship with your consultant, with a lot of investment in education, training and career advice. 

“We have been working with many Brunellers for years. We get to know each other really well, because we talk a lot about your career and the direction you want to take, but also about personal development. Not sure which way you want to go? We'll draw up a plan together with you. Together we look for your place in the labor market. We not only ensure that you can develop yourself, but we're also available as a coach at the same time.”

- Tobias Herweijer, Senior Sourcing Consultant Legal at Brunel

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