Here at CaptureLeave, we work with a lot of organizations that want a leave tracker or attendance management system to help them with their full-time and exempt employees. There’s an area that’s less talked about, however and that deals with the management of part-time employees.
Just like a leave tracker needs to be automated to manage full-time employees, you need to be able to manage time off for your part-time employees in the same system. Managing part-time employees comes with a whole set of considerations whether it’s offering them benefits, or how their time-off should be managed.
A lot of employers don’t give the attention they should to nurturing part-time employees, and that can be problematic. It’s important to remember that in a lot of businesses, part-time employees are the people responsible for customer service and interacting with the public, so they’re ultimately the face of your business in many ways.
Part-time employees are also important when it comes to reducing turnover in your business. You want them to be happy, engaged and to feel like they’re treated fairly, whether it has to do with scheduling and using a leave tracker for time off, or just managing them in general.
The following are some key things to know about effectively managing part-time employees.
What Is a Part-Time Employee?
The Fair Labor Standards Act or the FSLA doesn’t outline what a part-time employee is, so usually these standards are set by the employers’ own policy. Some states have guidelines that dictate what determines a part-time employee, however. In the past, a part-time employee was someone who worked anything less than a 40-hour week.
Now, there are some employees counted as full-time if they work 30, 32 or 36 hours a week.
Since there are blurred lines between full and part-time employees based on hours worked, sometimes the differences come down to benefits offered to employees like health insurance, paid time off, paid vacation days and sick leave, which we’ll talk about more below.
There are specific reasons businesses see hiring part-time employees as advantageous. Part-time employees allow the company to cut down on labor costs, and it can be a less risky financial commitment for some businesses.
Not all jobs require a full-time employee, and some highly qualified talent might prefer part-time work as opposed to working full-time, so it opens up more recruiting options.
Of course, as with anything, there are possible disadvantages as well. For example, there is a tendency to see part-time employees as not being as committed or dedicated, and retention is a big problem.
Tips for Managing Part-Time Employees
We’re going to delve into some of the specifics of vacation and paid time off for part-time employees, but first, it’s helpful to have tips for managing these employees. Part-time employees may not spend as much time in the workplace, but they are a critical part of any business where they work.
A few general tips for managing part-timers include:
- Provide your part-time employees with the same quality of training you give to your full-time employees. If employers feel like their part-time workers aren’t as dedicated or skilled, it could be because they’re not well-trained. Part-time employees need to know how to effectively do their job and what’s expected of them as any other employee does.
- If part-time employees seem less dedicated or engaged, it could be because they’re treated differently than other employees. You want these employees to feel like they’re an important, essential part of the team no matter how many hours they work.
- Set expectations. Your part-time employees may not seem like they’re as engaged as they could be because they just don’t know what the expectations are. There’s so much time and energy put toward the management of full-time employees, in terms of performance management and goal-setting, but the same amount of attention isn’t given to part-time workers in many cases. Let part-time workers know what the guidelines are for the number of hours they work and their productivity.
What About Vacation and PTO for Part-Time Employees?
Paid-time-off is one of the things a lot of businesses offer as a benefit to full-time employees, but what’s the best way to do things with your part-time employees?
There aren’t laws about vacation pay, so it’s up to employers to decide what’s right for their organization, much like deciding what determines whether or not an employee is part-time. Vacation pay can be based on an employee contract, a company policy, or in some cases, a collective bargaining agreement. You can have different vacation and paid time off policies for different groups of employees—for example, full-time versus part-time. However, in some businesses, it may make sense to offer paid time off to part-time employees.
Increasingly businesses are looking at offering some level of paid vacation or paid time off for part-time workers because they need to lower turnover numbers and retain their more skilled part-time staff.
If it is important to you to retain your part-time workers, for example, if they’re highly skilled, you might want to think about offering some level of paid vacation time. It just may be fewer days than full-time employees get. You can also think about having vacation time accrue as it might for full-time employees. The longer a part-time employee stays onboard, the more paid vacation time they’re entitled to every year.
Also, if you have part-time positions to fill, and especially if they do require specialized skills, offering some type of paid time off can go a long way in the recruitment process, especially if you can’t go up much in pay.
With more people embracing ideas of work-life balance, the gig economy and flexible work environments, some of the best talent might not be looking for a traditional full-time position. You may have to get creative in how you recruit and treat your part-time workers as a result. Part-time workers can be a valuable way for businesses to deal with the skills gap that is such a problem in the economy right now, but with that, you may have to offer benefits like paid vacation time at some level.