What is so good about being a contract worker?Posted: 01 November 2005 1704 hrs
Recruitment firms report increase in hiring of contract workers
By Farah Abdul Rahim, Channel NewsAsia
SINGAPORE : The number of contract workers in the workforce is rising dramatically - making it one of the fastest growing segments in the job market.
Recruitment companies report a surge in the number of such workers hired - with a two-fold jump so far this year, compared to last year.
They made up about 5 percent or more than 100,000 of the labour force last year.
Mr Ryan Chan, Personal Consultant, moved from the banking industry to recruitment and sales four months ago - on a contract-basis.
"It is flexible. I get to try out certain industries. That is a major perk for me, to try and if it is not my cup of tea, move on, don't waste time on my side and employers' side," he said.
Recruitment companies are seeing more of such contract employees, who are employed from a period that ranges from three months to as long as three years.
Ms Cynthia Chew, Managing Director of Adecco, said: "We see an overall increase, but in particular, a marked increase in professionals today, compared to say two to three years ago.
"Contract jobs are here to stay, the landscape for employment is changing and contract jobs are the jobs of tomorrow, with outsourcing and benefits of contract jobs, and the flexibility of managing the workforce."
As the number of contract workers grows, there is also a call for more to be done to protect them as contract workers lose their medical benefits once they leave the company.
Ms Chew added: "The only thing that needs to be improved is legislation to allow, in the future, for benefits to be portable, because currently insurance, medical are tied to the company.
"Once the contract ends, you begin a whole new episode with the next organisation that hires you on contract and this may not be positive."
This trend will also help older workers.
With Singapore's ageing population and the increasing number of mature workers, industry watchers say contract work is a win-win for employers and employees alike.
Employers get greater flexibility in hiring older workers and older workers increase their chances of getting a job, with more contract jobs on the market.
In the second part of the series on contract workers on Wednesday, Channel NewsAsia will take a closer look at the growing pool of low-wage contract workers and the recommendations by the labour movement to protect their interests. - CNA/de
Typical positive spinning by our 140th media again.
Ask any of your friends who are doing contract job, large majority of them will tell you they hope to get a PERMENANT job soon.
It is a well-known fact that employees hired on contract-basis have much less job security and staff benefits such as annual leave, bonuses etc… Some of them don’t even receive CPF contribution from their employers!
It really annoyed me when the media tries to paint a rosy picture when the reality is much grimmer…