TAWs enable…

adaptation to change in increasingly volatile and complex labour markets

What is temporary work ?

Temporary work or temporary employment refers to a situation where the employee is expected to leave the employer within a certain period of time.

Temporary employees are sometimes called “contractual”, “seasonal”, “interim”, “casual staff”, “freelance”; or the word may be shortened to “temps.”

The concept of TAW (temporary work agency) “ is characterised by a triangular relationship between three parties: a temporary agency worker is employed by a temporary work agency (TWA) and is then, via a commercial contract, hired out to perform work assignments at a user firm” (Storrie,D, 2002).

A temporary work agency, or temp agency or temporary staffing firm finds and retains workers. Other companies, in need of short-term workers, contract with the temp agency to send temporary workers, or temps, on assignment to work at the other companies.

Temporary employees are also used in work that has a cyclical nature that requires frequent adjustment of staffing levels.

The temporary worker is an employee, hired through a specialized employment agency, who generally works less than a year on one assignment, regardless of the number of hours worked per week.

Temporary workers (also called “contingency staffing” or “temps”) are utilized to accommodate fluctuations in labor requirements. While these workers may have full-time positions with companies, they are paid by private employment agencies. Such agencies recruit, train, and place temporary staff, and the companies using the temporary workers pay fees to the agencies. Because these workers receive job-specific training, many of these jobs can eventually lead to permanent staff positions.

Temporary work in the EU

Employment in temporary agency work (TAW) in the EU has increased rapidly during the last decade. According to CIETT (International Confederation of Temporary Agency Work Businesses), temporary work agencies in the European Union currently employ over seven million workers – 1.9% of the EU working population. There were an average of 2.8 million workers working through employment agencies on any given day in 2001 (CIETT, 2002, p. 21).

The expansion of TAW has created a growing interest in the matter across Europe in recent years. Data from the Eurociett studies show a rapid increase in the number of temporary agency workers in the five-year period from the mid-nineties. However, the data also reveal that temporary agency work seems to have stabilised in most countries since 1999 and 2000. In most of the countries, the number of workers even decreases slightly from 2000. As an example, France has experienced a significant increase in the period from 1995-2000: the number of temporary agency workers doubled from 292,000 to 604,000 full-time positions. In 2001, the increase stabilised and then the number decreased in 2002 to 570,000 positions . Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden also experienced a decrease in the number of temporary agency workers from 1999 or 2000.
As part of the New Skills Agenda for Europe, the European Commission has developed a Skills Profile Tool to support early profiling of the skills of refugees, migrants and other third country nationals. More info related to the form here.


Fixed-term employment contracts have hardly played any role in Romania so far. Consequently, in Romania in 2009, the proportion of workers who had a fixed-term contract was 1.0%, in contrast to Holland, where the percentage was 18.0% or Poland and Spain, where more than one in four workers had a fixed-term employment contract [http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/statistics_explained/index.php/Employment_statistics]

The subject of temporary employment, similar to fixed-term work, previously hardly played any role in Romania, particularly because of the rather inflexible regulations. However, temporary employment is a matter of interest for companies, since it is able to satisfy a temporary staffing need, e.g. during temporary heavy workload or a temporary need for specialists.

The latest changes to employment regulations are aimed at more flexible working relations and their adjustment to the dynamics of the labour market, ensuring the conditions for the development of the business environment and also the adaptation of the Romanian legislation to the Community legislation. The new provisions in the Romanian Labour Code (hereinafter: the Labour Code) are also referred to as a step in the right direction, especially because labour law in Romania was previously considered to be extremely friendly to employees.

A large part of the amendments to the Labour Code which came into force on May 1st, 2011 is now viewed as more employer-friendly. The new Labour Code has adopted interesting changes regarding temporary employment, that are consistent with the Temporary Agency Work Directive (4) (hereinafter: Directive 2008/104/EC) and which could increase employment of temporary workers.

What is new is that temporary employment agencies can include open-ended employment contracts with temporary workers and that the latters can now be freely used for specific and temporary activities (according to the previously valid legislation, temporary employment was only permitted in certain cases expressly provided in the Labour Code).

With the new law the maximum duration of a deployment has been raised from 12 to 24 months or, in the case of an extension, to 36 months. Presently, ARAMT continues its efforts to support the Romanian TAWs by voicing its observations regarding the level of existent laws and regulations, as well as their practical application in various legal situations.

How to set up a temporary work agency

Ghidul înființării unui agent de muncă temporară cuprinde informații privind formalitățile și procedurile de înființare, autorizare și funcționare ale unui agent de muncă temporară în România