What our salary survey says about the temporary and locum market

Posted in Latest News on 11 Jul 2024

Our Douglas Scott salary survey covers a wide range of different sectors, mainly for permanent roles. However, we also have some data on temporary, contract, and locum roles that we feel is worth sharing. 

There’s plenty of data on everything from benefits and working hours to what people think about their salary. We thought it was worth examining the data to see what is currently motivating this group of legal workers.

One of the most interesting and important parts of this data is how long people are working for. People working on shorter contracts might traditionally only be expected to work a few hours per week. However, the vast majority of those who filled out our survey worked either 35 or 40 hours (15% and 14%, respectively), which are often the same working hours as permanent employees. However, although these hours might look like traditional working hours, we know they offer a greater degree of flexibility. The main reason people have chosen to do contract work is that these types of roles provide more flexibility for people – something that seems to be growing more and more important in the world of work. 23% of respondents said they felt that these roles offered that flexibility, while 15% of people had said they were looking for temporary work as they had failed to find permanent roles that satisfied them. Interestingly, while the vast majority of respondents to the survey said they had been in their role for less than one year, 16% of respondents had been in their role for at least three years.

Another interesting area is salary and benefits. While working out an average of people’s wages in this sector is very difficult, we can look at what people think about their salaries. 48% of people felt their salaries were around market rate, with 37% feeling their salary was below market rate. In terms of bonuses, however, that was a little more straightforward – 70% of temporary workers weren’t getting a bonus last year, in contrast to 11% who were. However, this didn’t affect satisfaction, with only 10% of people actively unhappy with their bonus. In terms of benefits, the most common ones were, again, flexible working (41%), 100% home working (34%) and agile working (30%), and all three were the most popular too, showing that having flexible working arrangements does indeed matter to people. Generally, the majority of people were happy with their roles because of this: 48% were happy in their current positions, although, for obvious reasons, many of them felt it was likely they would change their roles in the next six months. In the last year, 22% of respondents had left their jobs because their contracts ended, which was the primary factor behind people moving jobs.

Overall, the traditional impression of temporary and locum staff seems to be receding; we here at Douglas Scott understand just how important they are to keeping firms running during periods of high demand. This data shows that, while there are some differences with their permanent counterparts, there are many broad similarities they share, and there are other benefits, such as a greater increase in flexibility and the ability to have a greater range of choices in what they do.

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