An arrangement in which employees work reduced hours on a regular basis. Part-time employees normally work less than 35 hours in a week, including those who work less than a full day all week or only some days per week.
Examples include organisations employing part-time employees to provide coverage of duties during peak periods or when work needs to be done only at particular times. Increasingly, employers are offering women the opportunity to return to work on a part-time basis to allow them to see to childcare arrangements or allowing older employees to work on a part-time basis leading up to retirement.
Part-time employees exclude temporary staff who work normal hours, casual workers on ad hoc assignments (e.g. workers who work on weekends only or during peak periods), as well as those on a compressed work schedule or staggered time schedule.
These are some common examples of part-time arrangements:
Under this arrangement, employees work a full workweek but shorter days, e.g. half day.
The management and employees have to agree on the new hours based on the organisation's peak hours, employee's selected hours, or a combination of both, etc. In addition, both parties should decide on the start and end times of each work day as well as the duration of lunch breaks.
Due to the shorter working hours, part-time employees may sometimes have shorter lunch breaks. In other cases, employees may have revised rest hours and work during lunch breaks to ensure a continuation of operations.
2. Work fewer days weekly
Under this arrangement, employees work fewer days per week than a full-time staff, although they may cover the same work hours on each day (as a full-time staff).
If there is only one part-time employee, he or she would usually work on the company's peak days. Most organisations would have two or more part-time employees. In such cases, companies can pair employees up so that both employees can work alternate days, e.g.
To avoid misunderstandings, the management should clarify issues related to specific day(s) of work e.g. public holidays. In most practices, specific benefits are often only related to days of work, i.e. if a public holiday falls on a day the employee does not work, he or she is not awarded a day off. Likewise, if it falls on a day of work, he or she is entitled to the public holiday.
3. Work during weekends (to cover high-volume periods)
This arrangement is usually adopted by companies that operate all seven days a week or companies with peak periods during weekends, e.g. food and beverage outlets, retail outlets, etc.
The main concern for both employers and employees is usually remuneration:
A) Weekends = Higher hourly wage than week days
B) Weekends = Same hourly wage than week days
When deciding between options A and B, organisations also need to consider issues such as dissatisfaction from co-workers versus the need for manpower during weekends, and justify their decision based on organisational needs.
It is also common for organisations to adopt a combination of the above approaches to suit the organisations' and employees' needs.