More executives on temporary contracts

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Companies are increasingly recruiting senior executives on a short term basis because they are not confident enough to hire permanent staff, according to new research.

Interim Partners, a recruitment consultant that finds executives to work on short-term contracts, said pay rates for so-called interim workers were rising while many permanent staff watched their wages stagnate. The proportion of interim executives earning more than £500 a day has risen to 79 per cent, from 74 per cent last year, with 13 per cent now commanding more than £1,000 a day, according to Interim Partners.

Some 39 per cent of the temporary staff said they earned at least 10 per cent more than they did as full-time employees, in part because they were not paid between placements, or given paid holiday. Doug Baird, the managing director of Interim Partners, said: "During the credit crunch and subsequent recession, UK plc was forced to cut hundreds of the most senior management jobs. Businesses now need to replace these people but nervousness means they are hiring more aggressively on an interim basis than on a permanent basis."

Mr Baird said senior company executives were being forced to take on extra work as colleagues left and were not replaced.