We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Contingent Employment?

Jessica Ellis
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
SmartCapitalMind is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At SmartCapitalMind, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Contingent employment is a short term or on-call job that does not require the creation of a long-term contract between an employer and worker. There are many different types of contingent employment, including seasonal work, project-based jobs, and on-call positions. While contingent employment can be economically and practically useful for both employers and workers, some economic experts believe that it can also be used to cover a multitude of legal and moral infractions.

The most important distinction between contingent employment and a traditional job is the creation of a short-term contract. In a traditional job, workers are typically hired without an end date in mind, though both employer and employee retain the right to end the arrangement at any time. In a contingent job, the contract usually specifies a term of employment, which may be a project completion date or the turning of a season. Some contingent employees may be hired as permanent employees at the end of their short-term contract, at which point they usually sign a new contract as a full-time worker.

Contingent employment contracts can be useful in a variety of situations, but are most frequently used to increase workplace productivity during highly active time periods. Seasonal workers, for instance, may be hired at retail stores during the weeks leading up to the holiday season, to compensate for larger crowds. In the agricultural industry, seasonal workers may also be hired during planting or harvesting season, to ensure maximum efficiency during these crucial periods. Project-based workers, such as freelance construction workers or film crew, may be hired on a contingency basis to complete a specific job. On-call workers may have a longer contract period than other contingency employees, but may still qualify for contingency status based on the limited hours of actual work available.

Some businesses find it economically sound to offer contingency employment rather than traditional, full-time jobs. A farm, for instance, may not need 50 workers year-round, but may be in desperate need of 50 workers during the harvesting season. Using contingency employment can help cut down on wasteful spending by ensuring that salaries are only paid when work is required and completed.

Unfortunately, some research shows that contingency employment contracts are often used to skirt tax and employer contribution requirements, and can take advantage of workers desperately in need of a job. Unscrupulous employers may keep a contingent workforce on staff full time, but only offer a series of short-term contracts instead of transitioning to full-time agreements. This method allows the employer to avoid contributions to Social Security, health benefits, or worker's compensation funds.

SmartCapitalMind is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources
Jessica Ellis
By Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis brings a unique perspective to her work as a writer for SmartCapitalMind. While passionate about drama and film, Jessica enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics, creating content that is both informative and engaging for readers.
Discussion Comments
Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis...
Learn more
SmartCapitalMind, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

SmartCapitalMind, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.