What is a part-time job?
The answer isn’t as simple as you might think. There isn’t a set number of hours per week that is considered part-time employment compared to full-time employment. It is up to the employer to decide which jobs are classified as part-time positions.
What Determines if an Employee Is Part-Time?
There are no legal guidelines that determine whether or not an employee is a part-time or full-time employee.
A determination of whether an employee is working part time depends on the company’s policy and practice of defining employees and the hours required to be considered full-time.
The standard for full-time was typically 40 hours a week in the past. However, many employers consider employees as working part time based on a different schedule i.e. under 30 hours or 35 hours a week, for example.
How Many Hours Is a Part-Time Job?
A part time job is a position that requires employees to work a lower number of hours than would be considered full-time. An employee is considered part-time if he or she works less than 35 hours per week, or works below the number of hours that the employer considers to be full-time.
Part time employees typically include students, mums and dads, retirees, and other workers who don’t want or need the time commitment of a full-time position.
There are other workers who may hold two or more part-time jobs instead of working full-time at one organization.
Types of Part Time Jobs
Part time jobs are available in a variety of industry and career fields. Retails and hospitality positions are the most common, but most industries use some part-time workers to supplement their full-time staff.
In a down economy, part time jobs may be filled by workers who would prefer full-time employment, but can’t find a full-time job. When the economy is struggling, employers may have more part-time jobs to offer. Employers may then not be required to offer the same health and personal benefits as a full-time position.
Employers Hiring Part Time Workers
Employers hiring part time workers are typically seeking employees with flexibility in scheduling. When seeking a part time position, take into account other commitments. You can inform potential employers of your availability.
Part time positions can sometimes work their way into full-time work, depending on the structure of the company. If you are looking for full-time employment, taking a part time position can be a foot in the door. It can be a way to gain the experience necessary for full-time employment. It can also show an employer your commitment in the workplace.
Benefits for Part Time Employees
Part time positions don’t typically have the level of benefits associated with full-time positions.
If you have benefit coverage through a spouse or parent, however, working part time may pay nearly what a full-time position does (especially if paid hourly), and allow you more flexibility to pursue other interests as well.
However, some companies do provide part time employees with benefits. When applying for part time jobs, inquire about what benefits are available and which employees qualify for benefits coverage.
Read more at the balance.