Supporting Your Team: Benefits for Part-Time Employees
By Veronica Baxter
September 28 2021 - Having an enticing benefits package is usually the deal-breaker for prospective full-time hires. If two job offers are relatively similar, then it's usually the benefits and perks that help the employee decide which offer to take. However, part-time work has become increasingly more common in the US over the past 25 years. Throughout 2020, during the coronavirus pandemic, part-time hires were as much as 40% of the total hirings that occurred.
As part-time work becomes more integrated into the network of possibilities for workers in the upcoming decade, you may want to consider providing them with more benefits as part of your job offer. But what, exactly, is the best way to go about doing this? You want to remain profitable, but you’ll need a competitive benefits package to attract high-quality part-time employees.
That’s what we are going to discuss in this article.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics considers part-time as working 34 hours or less per week. However, businesses are free to define their own part-time and full-time hours so long as they comply with local and state guidelines.
You must define what constitutes a part-time position so that you can set the minimum and maximum hours per pay period and start planning what benefits are feasible to offer your part-time employees.
What Benefits Must You Offer?
State and local laws vary; however, some require paid sick leave, short-term disability, and health insurance plans. You must know the laws affecting the areas your business operates in.
There are federally required benefits that require employers to offer health insurance to part-time employees who work at least 30 hours a week. Additionally, if a part-time employee completes 1,000 hours of work in 12 months, they must be offered the same retirement benefits as full-time employees.
The specific requirements of each state can be found on benefits.gov.
What Benefits and PerksShould You Offer?
However, attracting and retaining high-quality employees requires that you offer more than the bare minimum. Generally, the following benefits are designed to show that you value your part-time employees’ time, respect their work/life balance, and want to help foster their mental, physical and financial wellness.
Personal and Sick Days
At the very least, you should offer your part-time employees the chance to accrue personal and sick time. Doing so shows that you value their mental and physical well-being and respect the work/life balance.
Partial Tuition Reimbursement
The student debt crisis is currently affecting millions of Americans, so you will demonstrate that your employees are a top priority by offering an additional line of support. This benefit shows your employees that you care about their financial well-being. This also helps to foster positive morale and increase part-time employee engagement with the company.
A Health/Wellness Stipend
Gym memberships, spa discounts, acupuncture, and other similar perks that encourage either physical activity or a health-oriented mindset can also benefit the employers who offer them. First, they demonstrate to employees that they care about their health and wellness. Exercise, spas, and massages are all clinically proven to reduce stress and encourage bonding.
If these benefits are not in-house, then seek group memberships and encourage employees to go together. A second benefit to employers is saving on their health insurance premiums by offering this perk to employees.
Training, Education and Industry Specific Conferences
Offering your part-time employees the opportunity to attend industry-specific conferences and events and receive supplementary education or training in their field helps you to craft better-skilled employees and shows that you want to invest in them.
It is another way of demonstrating that you care about them and want them as part of the team. Additionally, it can help them to better transition into a full-time role.
Telecommuting/Work From Home/Flex Schedule Options
The COVID pandemic and the rise of Zoom have proven to employers that all enterprises can survive on a remote or partially remote workforce. As part of your perks, you can offer the option to be fully or partially remote. This gives part-time employees a breather on making the commute to the office for what will end up being a half-day.
Plus, depending on the nature of their role, you can offer your part-time employees the option to make their own schedules. This shows that you value their time and respect that they may have other obligations.
Consider offering your part-time employees the ability to accrue vacation hours. Though this is often a benefit reserved for full-time employees, excluding part-time employees from the option can make them feel less valued and separate from the team. When you consider employee loyalty and morale, you are doing your business a disservice by not offering them vacation time.
This is a fun perk more than a benefit, but it's a great way to bring employees together and foster interaction without the cloud of professionalism looming overhead. Whether you organize a pot-luck or bring in a catering service, it's more about the communal activity of eating together.
This is crucial for part-timers to be able to make social connections with their fellow employees. They already experience less of the company culture and its constituents, so strive to make what they do share a positive one.
This can even work remotely! With apps like UberEats or GrubHub, you can set a budget per meal and give your employees your work account information. They can order for a specific time, and you can have a virtual zoom meal!
Show Your Part-Time Employees That They Matter
You can offer your part-time employees many perks and benefits to make their experience a positive one. You do not want to limit part-time employee benefits if you have the excess budget to offer them quality perks and benefits. Obviously, most adults would value health insurance over a pizza party, so you should focus on the benefits that matter before going for the fun perks.
The takeaway is that you want to show all employees -- part-time and full-time -- that they are valued team members.
Veronica Baxter is a writer, blogger and legal assistant operating out of the greater Philadelphia area. She writes for Chad Boonswang, a dedicated Texas life insurance attorney.