Part-time employees are a big benefit to any small business. They are less expensive to hire than full-time employees, and are helpful in taking care of specific responsibilities.
We often receive common questions regarding part-time staff members and their duties:
“How many hours is part-time?”
“Why should I hire part-time employees? Why shouldn’t I?”
“How do I make sure my part-time employees don’t have too many hours?”
In this post, we’ll answer them all. If you have the same concerns regarding part-time staff, keep reading to find the information you need.
How many hours is full-time?
Before talking about the work hours of part-time employment, we need to know a bit about full-time employees. The common, traditional, standard work hours of full-time employees is 40 hours per week.
However, the number isn’t fixed and regulated. It depends on each employer, so it can range from 30 to 40 hours. At some start-ups, it could be any number as there’s usually no set schedule.
How many hours is part-time?
Similar to full-time employment, there’s no fixed legal number on how many hours is part-time. It might be difficult for employers because there’s nothing to refer to, but this way you can set employees’ time flexibly for your business.
Basically, part-time staff can still work up to 40 hours per week, except they don’t get the benefits of full-time employment. Most staff don’t want that. So generally, part-time employees work fewer hours than full-time ones.
Additionally, the ACA (Affordable Care Act) requires employers of 50 employees to offer health care to employees who work over 30 hours per week. That’s why many businesses set 29 as the official work hours for their part-time employees.
To avoid confusion and legal troubles, it’s important to state clearly the number of work hours required for full-time and part-time employees in your company handbook.
If your company hasn’t created a handbook, you can inform job candidates and new hires about the expected work hours right from the beginning.
Pros of hiring part-time employees
Hiring part-time employees are less expensive because employers don’t have to pay for benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, etc.
Many businesses, especially shift-based ones, need different types of employees—from full-time and contractor to part-time—to meet consumers’ demands. Having a pool of part-time employees can be useful during peak seasons or urgent situations. You can extend the operating hours and let part-time staff in charge of extra hours.
Finding part-time staff is much easier because there are people who want to work extra jobs for money—students, older people, experienced workers who’ve already had a full-time job, etc. There’s not much pressure on finding the “right” company and spend 8 hours at work. They look for the flexibility that full-time employment can’t give them.
Cons of hiring part-time employees
Higher turnover rate
As part-time employees mostly work to earn extra money, they’re less engaged to your business and aren’t likely to stay for long. Some will leave when they’re too busy with school and full-time work, or when they find better part-time opportunities at other companies.
With a higher turnover rate, you also need to spend more time and effort on training and onboarding new hires.
Higher recruitment costs
If you work with multiple part-time employees, sometimes it’s more expensive than having a full-time employee. You also need to spend more money on recruitment and training.
How are part-time employees taxed?
Employers must withhold federal and state income taxes, and Federal Contributions Insurance Act taxes (FICA) from all employees, no matter whether they work full-time or part-time. Businesses are also required to pay for worker’s compensation benefits and unemployment taxes.
How do you pay part-time employees?
While full-time employees are often salaried—paid a fixed amount every week/month, part-time employees are often paid by the number of hours they work.
Employers often use a time clock or time tracking app to record employee work hours for payroll. At the end of each pay period, you need to multiply the total work hours and the hourly wage, then deduct taxes.
Do part-time employees receive benefits?
Most often, benefits are for full-time employees. However, some businesses still offer their part-time staff some benefits, ranging from paid time off and fitness stipend to education expenses.
Where can I find part-time employees?
You can find part-time employees through:
- job seeking websites such as Glassdoor, Indeed, etc.
- social media sites where potential employees are active—Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit, etc.
- current employees’ recommendations
- distributing signs and flyers
- creating a Hiring/Career page on your business website
- partnering with schools, colleges, and nonprofits
Be sure to include a clear job description and conduct interviews before hiring someone. Inform candidates about the number of hours you expect them to work every week/month to avoid confusion.
How do I make sure my part-time employees don’t have too many hours?
Because the hours worked by part-time staff members fall outside of the range of a traditional, full-time position, they often require unique scheduling strategies. You don’t want employees working unplanned overtime, or someone always works more hours than the others.
Although you can totally schedule your part-time staff manually with paper or spreadsheets, things may get hectic. You need to spend extra hours each week to collect time cards, verify them, and make calculations, not to mention the risk of human error.
It’s best to use scheduling and time tracking software like Camelo. It’s much simpler because you can schedule your staff wherever you are, with whatever devices you have on your hands. You can create a group of part-time employees, then use filters to assign shifts to them when needed, while making sure no one works more hours than intended.
Part-time employment provides the flexibility that small businesses need. But staffing part-time employees can be a challenge for employers and create a lot of questions. How many hours is part-time? How do you pay part-time employees? etc.
With all of the answers we’ve gathered here for you, hopefully, you’ll have a clearer understanding of part-time employment. And you don’t have to worry too much the next time you hire new part-time staff for your business anymore.