When a person is hired by a new company, they are placed in one of two types of jobs. Most employees are employed on an at-will basis, which means they can be fired at any time for any reason. Employees under contract, on the other hand, have more safeguards against arbitrary termination. It can, however, be difficult to determine which type of employment is better at times. Here’s what you ought to know about contract vs. at-will employment.
The Difference Between At-Will Employment And Contract Employment
At-will employment allows both employers and employees to end their agreement at any time. Although a two-week notice is customary, employment at will does not require any notice of termination. Either the employer or the employee can end the working relationship without citing a reason, though employers must exercise caution when firing an employee because both federal and state laws require workers to be treated fairly.
A few situations have been identified by courts as exceptions to the at-will doctrine. In other words, an at-will dismissal may be overturned if it is deemed completely unfair or improper. The main exception is called the ‘public-policy’ exception, which means that firing an employee in a particular context would surprise the average person’s moral compass. For example, if an employee is terminated for refusing to adhere to an illegal order issued by their employer, most courts will rule that this is against public policy and may reinstate the employee.
Contract employment is the polar opposite of at-will employment. Contracts define the terms of employment, such as the employee’s responsibilities, working time, length of employment, compensation, and benefits. Contract employment generally runs from three months to twelve months, and possibly longer, depending on the role and company you work for.
Employment contracts frequently include a non-compete provision that restricts employees from contending with their employers for a specified amount of time after they leave the company. Methods for settling disputes and clauses for discharging the employee from the agreement are also typically outlined. Employers who want to fire contract employees must follow the terms of the contract.
Which One Is Better?
Right off the bat, there is an increasing demand for contractual jobs on a global level. Although there has always been a demand for contract workers, the Covid-19 pandemic has only increased it. This holds true for all industries, but the technology sector is leading the way. The development and implementation of new technologies create both challenges and opportunities in the IT job market, requiring the precise combination of specialized skill sets to manage them.
Let’s see why contract employment can be better and more appealing:
- To begin with, the flexible operating hours and working conditions make it the most suitable option for those seeking the ideal work-life balance, which leaves the professional feeling refreshed. It can alleviate the overall stress caused by work pressure, thereby making it easier for them to carry out their tasks to the best of their abilities.
- With a contract job, you’ll be moving around a lot, working with new technologies and individuals, experiencing various office cultures, and combating new challenges. So, for a person who gets bored with a regular job pretty quickly, contracting may be the perfect fit. Furthermore, because of their extensive exposure, contractor employees become experts in their respective fields, amassing vast knowledge. This means that businesses will save time and money by not having to organize training programs.
- Because of the abundance of opportunities, contractors are constantly evolving and learning new skills. Organizations are interested in this highly advanced skill set. Contract employees may not get company benefits like paid leave or insurance; they are paid enough to cover these costs on their own.
- The decision to sign or not sign a contract is entirely up to you. So, if a role isn’t interesting enough or doesn’t fit your qualifications, you can look for something else. Furthermore, you are only employed for the duration of the contract. This enables you to take an unaffected vacation after wrapping up your contract.
- And lastly, because of the economic downturn, most businesses now prefer to employ highly skilled contractors. It ensures quick operations while also providing superior fluidity. Not to mention that these highly skilled individuals save the company time and money on reskilling/upskilling programs. Because of the growing gig economy, a rising number of employers and employees are becoming aware of the numerous benefits that contractual jobs provide. Because of this shift in perspective, virtually all job roles can now be contractualized.
Contractual jobs were once limited to specific industries. The silver lining, however, arose during the pandemic, when the entire globe slowed down and recognized the numerous benefits of contract-based jobs. They are the focal point in the current scenario, and with each passing day, they are becoming a part of the New Normal.