I have heard some European countries do not have such a term as full-time but only a contract form of employment.

Actually now I think about it, what exactly does full-time really mean anyway? Since nowadays most companies have this employment-at-will agreement, basically meaning employer and employee can terminate the employment relationship any time they wish.

Due to this, do contracts have better security than "full-time" employment?

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    If you can keep lining up new contracts without too much downtime between them... – keshlam Oct 15 '16 at 3:40
  • Please don't use codeblocks or backticks for emphasis. – user53718 Oct 15 '16 at 7:08
  • @keshlam - the user is not asking about contract work, but about full-time employment governed by a contract between employee and employer, which is the custom in UK, and other parts of Europe. In Australia, we have work agreements which address akin to a contract. – HorusKol Oct 15 '16 at 12:01

These terms refer to different properties of the employment arrangements and they're not explicitly contrastable.

  • Full-time employment means you are working at least ~35 hours a week, i.e. a 'normal' working week in that job. The actual number of hours varies by country and might not have an exact value in law. It contrasts with part-time employment, which is where you work fewer hours for proportionately less pay, and the proportionate calculation of pay, holiday, and (sometimes) other benefits is known as a pro rata arrangement.
  • Employment can also be either permanent or temporary. In the former case, the employer wishes to hire someone and has no specific end-date in mind. In a temporary contract (in some cases knows as a fixed-term contract), the employer already has an end date in mind, e.g. because the employee is providing maternity cover or helping out during a busy period which will not last. In the UK, most fixed-term contracts will say the employer can choose to end the contract early, so this confers no legal advantage to the employee - they can still be fired before the intended end date, but they can also be dismissed by the employer when the contract period ends slightly more easily than in the case of a permanent contract.

In all cases there is said to be an employment contract, although it may not be written down, it may be composed of verbal agreement and custom and practice.

Working as an independent contractor is something different again and may not be an employment relationship in law. In this case you may be effectively self-employed (NB: employment and tax arrangements vary by jurisdiction on this), and typically will have multiple clients over a period of time. The relationship is closer to a business-to-business relationship, and what you are paid will have to pay for not just your income but also your holiday, sickness cover, pension, and some taxes that the employer would otherwise pay.

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  • Sometimes part time pays more... – jmoreno Oct 15 '16 at 13:10

In theoretical terms you're correct, contract does have a greater job security, but it's a set time while full time is open ended.

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    Don't see anything worth down voting here. I know that common conception is "contracts are less secure". It's harder, sure. You need to be ready for some serious crunch time and different level of scrutiny than when you worked as permanent employee. There's more danger but pay tends to be significantly bigger. For me it's also to do with high-stakes game approach - you are more likely to be asked for input that will actually matter and will and you will deal with higher ups in different capacity that perm employees around you. Different strokes for different folks. – Cthulhubutt Oct 17 '16 at 11:17

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