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  • Martha Travis

Is contracting the next step in the gig economy?

A couple of months ago, HRD published an article on how the ANZ Bank is using "Loyalty Leave" for eligible employees who had remained with the business in excess of 3 years and whether this might be the answer to retention. But at the risk of asking a controversial question... do we actually need and/or want tenure beyond 3 years?

What if we set expectations about the duration of tenure up-front between employees and employers and started employing everyone on limited tenure contracts of up to 3 years?


With the commonly quoted statistic that around one-third of employees will be looking to start a new job in the next 12-months, would it not be better if both parties had control over the timing?


Would working to specific timelines make a difference to how both employers and employees conduct themselves? Would employees be more committed to delivering specific outcomes to a business if they knew there was an end date and they didn't have forever to leave their legacy? Would it make a difference to how employers treated their employees and what they had them working on, if they were focused on the specific expertise that the employee was brought into the business for, and how the employer could maximise the benefit of those skills in the course of the next couple of years?


Below is my take on the Pros and Cons of limited tenure contracts:

I like transparency. In communication, in expectations, and in what others feel my future holds. Let's face it, when you enter into the employment relationship, whether you are an employee or an employer, you don't know what's going to be happening in your life or your business in 3 years. Maybe you will want to stay with your current employer and maybe they feel you can still add value, or maybe not. If I've reached the end of my use to a business, I would rather know in advance; and if I'm the employer, and my employee doesn't see a future with my business, I would like to know so I can plan my resources.


At least with limited tenure contracts, the timing is clear and it facilitates an open discussion between the parties as to what is and isn't working and whether there is an opportunity for the relationship to be ongoing.


I would love to hear your thoughts about the viability of more universal use of limited tenure contracts, please comment, or contact me to discuss further.


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