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Increase in contract / temporary positions with no health benefits?
8

Increase in contract / temporary positions with no health benefits?

Increase in contract / temporary positions with no health benefits?

(OP)
I've been keeping an eye on the engineering market in my area, and this seems so be a trend for some of the big employers. Temporary employment for average pay (not big money like you hear about contract engineers getting), and no health coverage. Usually through an agency. I understand big employers used to do massive layoffs after a big project concluded, so maybe this is the new thing that just makes that easier. Anyone also seeing this?

RE: Increase in contract / temporary positions with no health benefits?

2
The modern face of 'capitalism' in America...

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Increase in contract / temporary positions with no health benefits?

John R, perhaps you meant to say "corporatism" ??? Capitalism is little more than a faded memory, sad to say.

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

RE: Increase in contract / temporary positions with no health benefits?

We still call it capitalism, because the other word is too close to the truth, and we can't stand the truth.

We go through phases on this topic; until the IRS decides to crack down because they're not getting their cut.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Increase in contract / temporary positions with no health benefits?

Why should engineering be different from other occupations, in that respect?

The problem with sloppy work is that the supply FAR EXCEEDS the demand

RE: Increase in contract / temporary positions with no health benefits?

We do that, but mainly with people who have retired from here. If they were to work directly for us it would mess up their retirement. So we use an agency.

But we do this because it cost less than hiring a consultant who does not know our work methods.

And we do this with more than engineering. We do it with CAD people, inspectors, compliance, and drawing reviewers.

It would be difficult for us to do this with people other than people who retired from here.

RE: Increase in contract / temporary positions with no health benefits?

2
The trend I've been noticing is contract-to-hire.
Bring someone on for 6 months, maybe a year. At the end of the contract term, if they don't fit the company terminate the relationship and do it again. If they fit the company, then convert them to direct hire. The pay rate for the contract term is the same salary as they would pay a direct hire, sans benefits.

The problem with that is the good candidates typically don't want a 6 month contract. (The good candidates are usually the ones not actively looking but will switch careers if they hear about a great opportunity, and 6 months to the unemployment line isn't great.) Therefore, because the companies don't convert any contractors to direct-hire, they are self-perpetuating their false ideals that they are doing a great job of weeding out bad employees. They don't stop to consider that they aren't weeding out bad employees, rather they aren't getting any good ones. Hard to tell the difference when the statistical sample is limited by the fundamental assumption in the hiring practice.

--Scott
www.aerornd.com

RE: Increase in contract / temporary positions with no health benefits?

It has been going on in Australia and New Zealand for decades, term contract with/without benefits from few months to few years and not only in engineering. Universities are known for doing that, and often people on open contracts are asked to reapply for their position from time to time.

Either way you look at it is not good for the employee.

RE: Increase in contract / temporary positions with no health benefits?

Speaking of outrageous 'compensation' proposals, this one has to take the cake:

United tried to replace bonuses with a $100,000 lottery

Most workers would have lost $1,500 bonus


https://www.channel3000.com/news/united-tried-to-r...

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Increase in contract / temporary positions with no health benefits?

re cranky108, I haven't a "real" job for over two years, but rather have been working contract for a couple of former employers. Interviewed for a few perm positions at age 64, but I don't think my heart was really in it. I know the employers weren't.

At this stage of my life it suits me, and I have been grateful for the opportunity.

The problem with sloppy work is that the supply FAR EXCEEDS the demand

RE: Increase in contract / temporary positions with no health benefits?

I used to do job shopping through an agency, but the agency always provided health care, and there was no contract to hire, when you were done you went back to the agency.
B.E.

You are judged not by what you know, but by what you can do.

RE: Increase in contract / temporary positions with no health benefits?

This is the engineering industry's flavor of "the gig economy".

RE: Increase in contract / temporary positions with no health benefits?

It's a flavor of a short term fix to a long term problem.

RE: Increase in contract / temporary positions with no health benefits?

Much less of an issue in Canada where health benefits (major ones) are paid for out of the income tax and a small payroll tax on employers. Here, the only health benefits you get from an employer as a full time employee that you don't get as a contractor are things like dental, optical, pharma, chiro, massage etc. Pretty small potatoes unless you have a big family, and generally covered by a little more pay which also covers holiday pay.

RE: Increase in contract / temporary positions with no health benefits?

The unavailability affordable health insurance is pretty big hurdle for a lot of people to starting their own business. I believe it is like this by design because why else would the U.S. government disallow people from forming large blocks with the availability to negotiate with insurance companies even though medicare does this regularly. Large corporations and the government are the only groups that have the ability to negotiate with insurance companies.

RE: Increase in contract / temporary positions with no health benefits?

"Large corporations and the government are the only groups that have the ability to negotiate with insurance companies."
Except large corporations must do this on a state by state basis. Local governments sort of also do this by default.

IEEE offers group insurance. Other type of groups may also do this.

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