Talent Spot | Temporary work in Hong Kong: The difference between Temping and Contracting

When we talk about temporary work, people usually are confused when it comes to differentiating temping to contracting. It's a common common misunderstanding that they are similar.

The truth is that there is a relevant difference between these two concepts from the terms of the reason behind the hiring, contract assignments, pay scales, duration of assignment ...


The agreement and the conditions of employment between the employer and employee includes both explicit and implicit terms. In general the contract terms should abide by the minimum requirements under the Ordinance.

Regarding the written contracts, it is mandatory for all employers to provide employees with a copy of the written employment contract. In addition, employers must obtain their employee’s consent before making any subsequent changes to the terms of the employment contract. Some of the key points to be included in the contract are:


    • 1-Position;
    • 2-Obligations during employment;
    • 3-Duration of employment contract;
    • 4-Remuneration package;
    • 5-Hours of work;
    • 6-Probation clause;
    • 7-Code of conduct;
    • 8-Termination


In the following paragraphs we will try to highlight the differences between Temping and contracting and try to understand them.



A Contractor

 A highly qualified professional

A good example to crystallize the contract assignment and the importance of a contractor is when a firm is looking for an expert or specialized skilled person that the firm lacks and requires to complete a project.

Usually hired on a fixed term basis

His mission tends to be longer than a temporary staff

Performs a specific mission

His work is more specialized and critical than the temp staff.

  In general contract assignments might last from 3 to 12 months and in some cases might go for several years depending on the firms need, the signed contract and project length.


A temp

Is usually required by firms for support positions that are related to daily Business operations. For instance: to replace secretary while the person is on a sick leave, maternity or annual leave.

The person is usually hired at a short notice

His or her assignment would also be very short term.

The task performing requires minimal training

The tasks doesn’t require a high level of professionalism

  Temp assignment can be very short or last till 3 months as a maximum.

Temp staff generally find themselves working for a couple of days, a week and the next week probably for a different firm whether as a temp or full time.  


There is a notable increase in temporary hiring as more employers have become aware of the benefits a contract role brings to the business. These take account of cost-rationalization, flexibility during expansion or contraction, and the ability to trial people when hiring new teams and short-term employment for project work, especially within businesses looking to establish a presence in Hong Kong purely as a platform into China.


While labor laws in Hong Kong provide greater flexibility than offered in contracting entrenched markets such as the UK and Australia, the other benefits of contracting are driving the growth of the business.

There is a high demand and growing acceptance of temporary work in Hong Kong as a viable employment option, as cost-cuts and careful headcount planning continue to affect companies.


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