Part-Time Hours

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What are “part-time hours”? 

When a person has a part-time job, it generally means that the position requires the person to work fewer hours than what the company considers full-time. The truth is, there is no definite statement mentioned in the Fair Labors Standards Act (FLSA) regarding the exact number of hours that constitute part-time hours. What does this mean? It means that the definition depends on each organization’s policy. It is only the employer who can determine what part-time and full-time hours are. For example, one company can set part-time hours as less than 35 hours per workweek. Meanwhile, another company can classify part-time hours as less than 40 hours per workweek. 

Who determines if a job is considered as having part-time hours? 

As mentioned above, the FLSA does not mention a definite time frame for part-time or full-time hours. However, it does provide the rule that employers are required to provide overtime pay for employees who work more than 40 hours per week. 

In line with this, employers determine the work hours of their workforce. The most common practice is eight hours a day for five days per work week which makes up 40 hours per week full-time. Anything less would be deemed part-time hours. Again, this can vary from one company to another. 

In other industries (like retail) where the work is based on shifts, it is common to hire part-time workers to suit their work needs. 

What is the significance of part-time hours on benefits? 

If you are an employee, it is important to know if your job counts as part-time or full-time. This is because companies usually offer different benefits for each classification. A tip to job seekers, ask your manager about it before signing or agreeing to anything. 

Employers decide if part-time workers are eligible for employer-offered benefits. However, keep in mind that the number of part-time employees and their work hours is significant in the company’s compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Additionally, the law combines all the hours worked by part-time employees (less than 30 hours per week) to their Full-Time Equivalent (FTE).  So, why is this crucial? According to the ACA, employers must offer health insurance if they have more than 50 FTEs. 

How do you calculate FTE for part-time hours? 

Here is the formula for FTE calculation: 

Total FTE = Full-Time Employee Count +Total Part-Time Hours ÷ 30

Let’s have an example:

A company has 40 full-time employees who work 30 hours per week. It also employs 20 part-time employees who work 10 hours per week. What is the total FTE?

Total FTE = Full-Time Employee Count +Total Part-Time Hours ÷ 30

Using this formula, let’s see it step by step. 

First, let’s determine the total part-time hours which is 20 employees working 10 hours a week. So, that is 20 times 10 which is 200 part-time hours. Next, let’s fill in the formula.

Total FTE = 40 Full-Time Employees +200 ÷ 30

Total FTE = 40+6.6

We’ll pause at this step. Round out the decimal to a whole number. 

Total FTE = 40 + 6

Total FTE = 46

This is the company’s total FTE.

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