July 4, 2020

What is a Part Time Employee?

Anshika Awasthi

Working families around the globe are getting overloaded and crushed. Workplaces are racking up profits by decreasing wages while the cost of living in a city is increasing than ever. Basic housing, education, health care, child care has gone up. Today a full-time salaried position is not sufficient to provide for the family. Today workers have too little power and it allows big companies to rake up profits while squeezing working families to the breaking point. This is when they seek for an additional task such as getting part time employment.

Part Time Employee – Definition

According to the International Labour Organisation:

A part time employee is an employed person whose normal working hours are fewer than those of comparable full-time employees. The work hours may be calculated weekly or on an average over a given period of employment.

Definition of part time employee differs in different countries. However, for statistical purposes, part time employee is usually the one whose working hours are less than 35 hours, per week.

Traditionally, part time work is non-standard employment. It varies from workplace to workplace around the globe. Hence, what is counted as a part time employee is generally defined by the employers by the policy. For example, working hours, the pay of a part time employee of an American tech company may differ from that of an Indian tech company.

How Many Hours a Day Is Part Time?

Though traditionally, part time employee is non-standard employment, however, it has grown its importance over the past few decades. Part time employment can be broadly categorised into the following three categories depending on the work hours:

  • Substantial part time – 21–34 hours per week
  • Short part time – 20 hours or less
  • Marginal part time – fewer than 15 hours per week

Part Time Employment in A Workplace Diversity

Part time employment is most common among women. According to ILO, women make up to 57% of the total part time employment. The ratio is higher than any other gender in the workplace. Such gender gaps concerning part time work are common in countries like India, Netherland, Japan, Switzerland, and Niger.

However, the future of work is changing. With freelancers, remote work, virtual workplace, virtual assistance, people taking time off to travel, one-time project jobs, more entrepreneurs than ever starting their business, part time employment has started to fit well amongst the newest workforce; gen Z and millennials who will comprise 75% of the global workforce by 2020.

Benefits of Being a Part Time Employee

The future of work will see a high increase in several part time employee more than ever. With employers hiring part time workers, the demand has increased immensely in the labour market. With greater opportunities come bigger benefits as follow:

Opportunities to earn more money

A part time employee has fewer work hours comparatively to a full-time employee. This gives them extra hours to invest in other projects/gigs. There are numerous hourly freelancing tasks which pay from $10-$100 per hour for small projects. This extra income sure will not help you buy a fancy car but can help you pay bills.

More free time to pursue other projects

A full time salaried positioned employee investing 50-60 hours a week invests her/his free time to relax rather than pursuing other projects. Whereas, part time working gives you enough flexibility to pursue and invest time in other projects/extracurricular activities. This is one of the biggest benefits of being a part time employee. For those confused about their career can start with part time working which indeed gives enough credibility and buys enough time to make career choices of once likeliness.  

Other benefits include:

  • Saving more money
  • Less mental stress
  • Fewer workplace politics

Disadvantages of Being a Part Time Employee

Commitment to job

One of the major disadvantages of being a part time employee is they are often seen in a bad light by other full-time employees, who believe that part time workers are not committed to their job as they are. These workers do not get to bond as much as full-time workers on the job. Spending less time on project results in less bonding time spend with other colleagues.

Fewer workplace perks

Part time employees are not usually covered under workplace perks such as:

  • Company Vacation
  • Housing or food subsidy
  • Office parties
  • Holiday gifting & others

Bottom Line takeaways

  • Part time employees are a role determined under the policy of the workplace, there is no legal guideline defining the number of work hours and work patterns to be followed by a part time employee.
  • Most companies hire part time employees even in full capacity or side or extra projects.
  • There are certain benefits linked with being a part time employee including getting freeing up early to pursue other jobs or responsibilities.
  • Part time employment is usually seen amongst women particularly mothers responsible for their kids and family.

Part time employment does not land one in getting workplace perks like that of full-time employee but it’s possible to get health insurance through part time job.

About the author

Competitive, real; loves to keep working for what it wants. An extrovert who lives by her own ideas and methods.


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