One frustrating thing about being a part-time employee is that you usually do not work enough hours to take advantage of company benefits. Most companies only offer premium benefits to full-time employees. If a part-time employee receives any benefits at all, it is usually a couple of days off without pay or the company discount provided to everyone. For those lucky enough to receive part-time benefits, they are usually the same across the board no matter where you work.
Even with the rising cost of health care, some companies still offer the health care option to part time employees. For example, the Lowe's home improvement chain offers its part-timers a limited medical plan, term life insurance, vision, a dental plan and short-term disability. It's typical for employers to pay a portion of the premium for the employee, and the employee pays a given amount each month. For example, employees with the City of Brea, California, pay a specific amount every month and the city pays the rest of the premium. The premise behind this is that if an employee maintains her health, she will not miss as many days of work.
A 401K or profit sharing plan allows employees to save for their futures. With a 401K, you contribute a portion of your earnings each pay period into your plan. This amount comes out before taxes, and some employers will match your contribution. According to the Internal Revenue Service in 2013, the limit on the amount of elective deferrals you can contribute is $17,500. in order to receive any benefits from your retirement fund, you must be fully vested, which means you must have put in a certain amount of time with your employer to keep the money. The vesting period varies by company, so you'll have to inquire what yours is.
You use sick leave when you fall ill or if a member of your family needs your care. Depending on your company, a part-time employee will usually gain a certain amount of sick leave time based on the number of hours you worked. For example, some companies will offer you an hour of sick time for every 20 or so hours you work. Some companies allow you to accrue this time, and some will require you use it by the end of the year or lose it.
Full-time employees usually get paid for company holidays throughout the year. These days include major federal holidays such as Christmas and New Year's Day. Occasionally, an employer will pay part-time employees for these holidays. Most companies will pay a full-time employee for the entire eight hours on a holiday but will pay a part-time employee for a four-hour shift. The amount varies depending on your company and the amount of time you have worked on the job. The Lowe's home improvement chain requires part-time employees to work with the company at least 180 days before they receive holiday pay.
Vacation pay for part-time employees usually works the same as sick pay. An employer will offer a certain number of hours of vacation time based on the total number of hours worked. For example, the City of Brea in California offers anyone who has worked with the city up to three years a total of 3.08 hours of vacation pay for every 80 hours worked. It's best to check with your human resources department to find out exactly what benefits part-time employees receive and the requirements to get the benefits.
Based in Atlanta, Melody Dawn has been writing business articles and blogs since 2004. Her work has appeared in the "Gainesville Times," "Player's Press" and "USA Today." She is also skilled in writing product descriptions and marketing materials. Dawn holds a Master of Business from Brenau University.