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Do part-time employees get benefits?

Find out what benefits to offer your part-time employees.
June 3, 2022
Part-time worker checking benefits on desktop computer

When hiring a part-time employee, it’s important to decide whether they’ll receive benefits. A variety of variables, combined with minimal federal regulations on benefits for part-time employees, can make it challenging to decide which approach is best.

First, determine if you’re hiring a part-time or full-time employee. Confusing one for the other will impact both the company and the worker. In simple terms, part-time employment is when an employee works fewer hours than what you consider full-time. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, part-time individuals work up to 34 hours per week. 

What types of benefits are part-time employees entitled to?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It depends primarily on the employer and what they want to give their part-time employees. Business owners have the flexibility to create their own part-time employee benefits package, but local laws could come into play. Here are several benefits to consider offering your part-time employees.

1. Health insurance

Even if you offer group health insurance to full-time employees, you’re under no obligation to do the same for part-time workers. However, as one of the top benefits an employee can receive, offering health insurance can help attract and retain talent. 

2. Retirement plans

Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), some companies are required to include part-time workers in qualified retirement plans that are offered to other workers. Determine if you’re required by law to offer a retirement plan to part-time employees. From there, you can choose the best path forward. 

3. Unemployment benefits

Part-time employees are entitled to unemployment benefits based on the laws in the state the business operates. Other factors that impact this benefit include wages earned, hours worked within the last year, and the circumstances surrounding their dismissal, such as quitting or being fired or laid off.

4. Overtime laws

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers must pay non-exempt employees a minimum overtime rate of 1.5 times the worker’s regular rate of pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. 

Other benefits for part-time employees

Along with the above, there are other benefits — often known as fringe benefits — for part-time employees. These can include:

  • Paid vacation
  • Personal days
  • Sick days
  • Health and wellness stipend
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Telecommuting

What about part-time employees in foreign countries?

If you have part-time employees in foreign countries, it’s difficult to provide them with the same benefits as workers in your home country. This is due largely to the fact that different countries have different laws. For example, workplace benefit requirements in Spain aren’t the same as in India

Rather than struggling with this process, take advantage of Oyster’s Benefits Advisor. It helps you identify a list of benefits such as health insurance, allowances, time off, and other perks that other companies in your hiring location offer. Combine this with access to local expert recommendations, and you have everything you need to provide part-time workers with a comprehensive benefits package. 

Should part-time employees get benefits?

In most instances, this decision is made on a case-by-case basis. Compare the pros and cons of offering benefits to part-time employees. Doing so will allow you to make an informed and confident decision.

If you decide in favor of providing benefits, Oyster’s global employment platform is here to help. Oyster lets growing companies give valued international team members the experience they deserve, without the usual headaches and expense.

With access to top-of-the-line local benefits and perks, you’ll find it easy to offer your part-time employees benefits that make them feel like valued workers. 

About Oyster

Oyster is a global employment platform designed to enable visionary HR leaders to find, hire, pay, manage, develop, and take care of a thriving distributed workforce. Oyster lets growing companies give valued international team members the experience they deserve, without the usual headaches and expense.

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