Period Contracts: An Explainer

Contracts are a staple within any business relationship. It is important that you choose the right type of contract for your business needs. However, deciding on the type of contract you need can be confusing, especially if you’re a new business owner. We have created this guide to help you understand period contracts, their benefits and what to look out for. 

How Period Contracts Work

Period contracts involve a business relationship where a contractor is engaged to work from time to time. Hiring a contractor is suitable for businesses who need short-term projects to be completed without the commitment of employment. Contractors have specialised skills and equipment well-suited for specific work that the business requires. These types of contracts are common in construction work, freelancing, photography, web design and development. Engaging a new contractor requires a new offer by the employer and acceptance by the contractor each time. Although the terms of the contract may change each time you hire a contractor, remember to include the basics. You can download a Contractor Agreement (Individual) to guide you through drafting up your period contracts.

Benefits of Period Contracts

Period contracts allow for a range of benefits for your business and for contractors. These include:

1. Flexibility

The most well-known benefit is flexibility. With period contracts, employers avoid committing to employees whose skills are needed only for short periods of time. Further, allowing business owners to engage contractors to meet their business demands intermittently is a huge benefit of these contracts.

2. Cost savings

Contractors are great for businesses who cannot afford to hire specialised staff for short projects. Contractors are temporary and do not need to be paid an annual salary. Further, they do not require any training or development from your business, providing you with high-quality work, without the high price tag.

3. New Experiences

If you are a contractor, short-term projects are a great way to network with different businesses, creating loyal relationships. This is important to ensure that you Later down the line, you have accrued a wide range of experience, building your skills and expertise.

Things to Keep in Mind

Whether you are a contractor or a business owner, it is important to understand the technicalities behind period contracts. As explained above, each time an employer engages a contractor, a new contract must be signed. Period contracts can have the same terms as previous contracts, however, an addendum (separate to the contract) should be signed as well. An addendum sets out the specific work required and the final outcome expected. Addendums are added to pre-existing contracts to vary the terms as the work required changes each time the contractor is engaged. However, even though you might have dealt with the same contractor or business in the past, the terms should always be checked over. This ensures expectations are understood by both parties before entering into each new contract.


Period contracts provide great flexibility for business owners who need specialised work completed for short term projects. If you think a period contract would be suitable for your business and need further advice, contact a contract lawyer.

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