One of the most valued services of Foundation membership is access to our Ask a Benefits Expert service. Members are able to submit questions to our dedicated information specialists, who comb through vast resources to find the most useful information. While reviewing the queries received in the past year, I was struck by the number that pertained to part-time employment. How do organizations define part-time work? Which benefits are offered to part-time workers? Why do organizations offer benefits to part-time workers? This led me to take another look at a recent International Foundation survey for answers to these questions.
The International Foundation included a section about part-time workers in our recent study, Flexible Work Arrangements: 2017 Survey Results. In addition to questions about part-time arrangements the 391 respondents were asked about flexible work arrangements, and telecommuting/working remotely. Of those organizations that responded to the survey, more than three out of four (78.0%) employ part-time workers.
Pondering part-time benefits? Here are some insights on the most commonly asked questions about part-time arrangements.
What constitutes a part-time worker?
To determine how organizations define a part-time worker, respondents were asked how they define full-time employment. More than one in three (36.7%) respondents use a 40-hour threshold, followed by 30 hours per week (31.5%). Similarly, respondents were asked the minimum number of hours that their employees must work to receive health insurance benefits. Most commonly, they must work either 30 (36.7%) or 20 (24.9%) hours to be eligible for benefits.
[Related: Total Rewards and Workforce Strategies, March 14-15, 2018, Las Vegas, Nevada]
What health care benefits are provided to part-time workers?
The health care-related benefits most commonly offered to part-time workers (either on a full or prorated basis) include health care insurance (54.4%), prescription drug coverage (52.5%), dental and vision insurance (51.5%), and access to flexible spending accounts (FSAs) (47.2%) and health savings accounts (HSAs) (33.1%).
What retirement benefits are provided to part-time workers?
More than three in four (76.4%) respondents that employ part-time workers offer them access to a defined contribution plan, a benefit more common among corporate/single employer respondents. Conversely, defined benefit pension plans are offered by one in four respondents (25.4%), a benefit more common among public sector respondents.
What other benefits are provided to part-time workers?
More than one-half of responding organizations provide the following paid leaves to their part-time workers on a full-coverage or prorated basis: wellness benefits (69.1%), paid holidays (67.6%), paid bereavement leave (63.0%), paid vacation (54.1%), paid sick leave (52.1%) and paid time off (PTO) (50.8%). Respondents also offer life insurance (49.2%), long-term disability (41.3%), short-term disability (41.0%), and dependent care benefits (40.7%), including child-care subsidies, and dependent care flexible spending accounts.
Responding organizations provide benefits to part-time workers for a variety of reasons including retaining high-performing workers (43.3%), followed by attracting high-quality applicants (39.3%), building worker loyalty (29.5%) and providing work-life balance (28.9%).
Justin Held, CEBS
Senior Research Analyst at the International Foundation