an employee contracted to work for a business for a short period of time, usually under a year. Temporary staff are usually taken on to cover seasonal peaks in demand (if there is sufficient space to accommodate the extra employees), or to fulfil special projects such as those relating to non-standard orders, or cover short-term staff shortages arising from holidays, sickness or maternity leave. They may also be taken on when there is uncertainty about the future volume of business, and / or the capability of the individual being employed. In general, temporary staff have far less rights than permanent staff – for instance – regarding dismissal, redundancy, maternity / paternity leave, sick leave and holiday pay. To qualify for such rights (excluding equal opportunities) temporary workers need to have worked for a minimum period of continuous employment with their employer.