A part-time job is where an employee works fewer hours each week than what their employer considers full-time employment. Throughout the world, part-time jobs have helped people work and study simultaneously; start a family; or gain a little extra income. But, in reality, how many hours is part-time?
How Many Hours is Part-time? Part-Time Vs Full-Time Hours
Where there are no legal definitions as to part-time vs full-time jobs in terms of hours. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics considers a 35-hour week full-time employment (this definition is only used for statistical purposes).
In the UK, the average part-time hours are 16, as working more than that has an impact on state benefits. So, 16 is the maximum hours for part-time if you want to continue claiming.
As a general rule, you can work between 20 and 29 hours. However this can vary from country to country and from company to company.
Working part-time can be beneficial to you, depending on your situation. Below are a few benefits of working fewer hours:
- Flexibility + Less Stress! – If you’re looking for a better work/life balance, then choosing your half-time hours per week could be the way to go. Not only do you get more time off during the week. But you can also reduce the stress you endure – protecting your mental health in challenging roles.
- Improve Your Time Management Skills – Fewer hours worked = fewer hours to do your work. Part-Time workers tend to increase their time management skills by being able to manage their workload within a shorter period of time than a full-time worker.
- Time to Pursue Other Activities and Projects – We mentioned above how part-time jobs can help people study or pursue additional projects. This is a prime example of a part-time worker benefit! You’re still bringing in a steady paycheck, but you’re giving yourself enough time to do more things outside of work, such as studying, picking up a hobby, etc. This also helps with creating a work/life balance.
In the US, The Fair Labor Standards Act doesn’t specify whether part-time employees are entitled to the same benefits as those who work full-time. This is down to employer discretion.
In the UK, the Government Website states that Part-Time workers should get the same treatment as full-time employees for the following benefits:
- Pay Rates (including sick pay, maternity, paternity, adoption leave, and pay)
- Pension Opportunities and Benefits
- Training and Career Development
- Selection for Promotion, Transfer, or for Redundancy
- Opportunities for Career Breaks
Some benefits are applied ‘pro rata’ – which means in proportion to hours worked. The example given on the gov.uk website is that if a full-time worker gets a £1,000 Christmas bonus, and a part-time worker works half the number of hours, they should get a £500 Christmas bonus.
Yes and no.
Where most places around the world, including the UK and the USA, don’t have a set maximum/minimum number of hours, there is a baseline for what they consider full-time hours.
For most companies, the maximum number of weekly hours worked to be classed as part-time is 29 hours a week. However, some companies class full-time roles as 35 hours a week, meaning the maximum number of hours for part-time workers would be 34 a week.
How many hours is a part-time job for a student? Again, this would vary!
If you’re classed as a ‘home’ student (you don’t need a visa to study), you can work as many hours as you like; however, many universities would advise you not to take on any more than 20 hours a week as it can affect your studies.
If you have a student visa, you can work up to 20 hours a week during term time and full-time during school holidays.
As a student worker, you are still entitled to the same pay rate, benefits, holidays, etc… as your colleagues (although pay, benefits, and similar can be pro rata). You are also entitled to 1 uninterrupted 20-minute break if you work more than 6 hours a day – this break does not have to be paid though.
Part-Time work can be found on the majority of job search sites such as Indeed, Total Jobs, Reed, etc
Simply change the search term filters and select ‘Part-Time’ and enter your location for a list of jobs currently available!
Remember, there is no legal maximum or minimum for how many hours is part-time, so the only decision you need ot make is whether the job is right for you!