February 21, 2024

Futureality

Future Depends on What You Do

Part-Time Jobs That Offer Benefits

  • Part-time jobs generally don’t offer benefits to employees, but some may be an exception to the rule.
  • Benefits packages can help attract top talent, boost employee morale, and lower employee turnover.
  • Employers considering offering their part-time employees benefits should carefully weigh the benefits and costs of doing so before creating a benefits plan.
  • This article is for anyone looking for a part-time job that may offer a benefits package, or for employers wondering if they should offer them.

Today, many people work part-time while balancing other money-making opportunities, like creative work or freelance gigs. Part-time employment typically consists of a minimum of 20 hours (but under 40 hours) of work per week. This convenient schedule is attractive to many, especially those who earn a decent profit in contract work on the side.

However, it’s difficult to achieve stability without a full-time position. At many companies, only full-timers are eligible for employee benefits like medical or dental insurance and a 401(k) plan. That leaves part-time workers to fend for themselves, spending valuable funds on low-quality medical and dental insurance and on trying to set money aside for retirement. Thankfully, some large employers do extend benefits to their part-time staff, an initiative that is becoming more conventional.

What are the jobs with the best benefits for part-time workers?

Certain companies are known for treating their part-time workers especially well. Here are 10 companies that offer the best benefits to part-time workers.

1. Chipotle

Chipotle offers part-time jobs with some of the best benefits around. Not only does Chipotle provide its part-time workers health, vision, dental and wellness coverage, it matches their 401(k) contributions after one year of employment and offers discounts to all workers. Additionally, full- and part-time employees are eligible for educational assistance through Guild Education. Through this program, workers can save up to 99 percent on college costs and earn up to 44 credit hours. 

2. Macy’s

Many part-time Macy’s employees are eligible for health and retirement benefits, flexible schedules, and on-the-job training. Employees also get discounts on all Macy’s merchandise, but possibly the most unique benefit is the opportunity to be in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

3. REI

At REI, part-time employees who work over 20 hours a week for over 12 months are eligible for competitive benefit packages where they can choose from various medical plans for themselves and their dependents. The company covers most of the costs for the medical plan and all the costs for its basic life and disability plans.

There are additional options like vision care, orthodontia and long-term care coverage as well. REI also offers employees discount programs (50 percent off REI gear and apparel, 30 percent off vendor merchandise, and 10 percent off sale items), Yay Days (one day off every six months for outdoor activities) and challenge grants (to put toward goals like climbing Mt. Everest).

4. Costco

Although hourly part-timers at Costco must wait longer than full-time employees for benefits eligibility (180 days instead of 90), the national wholesale retailer offers part-time jobs with some of the best benefits available, including a competitive package with health insurance and dental and vision care, a 401(k) plan with matching employer contribution, discounts on prescription medication, child care assistance, and life insurance. Employee premium portions or costs are withheld pretax. 

5. Lowe’s

Lowe’s Home Improvement offers eligible part-time workers numerous benefits, including medical, dental, and vision insurance as well as life and disability insurance. The company also offers health and wellness programs, plus learning and development programs. 

6. Staples

Staples’ plan for part-time workers includes vision and dental benefits, life and dependent life, accidental death, short-term disability, and a 401(k) plan. 

7. Starbucks

All Starbucks employees, or “partners,” are entitled to their choice of multiple coverage levels for medical, dental, and vision plans; life insurance; disability; and accident coverage. They might also be eligible for comprehensive healthcare and dependent care coverage, discounted stock purchase options, 401(k) with match, educational savings, and a time-off program. 

In a precedent-setting move for the fast-food industry, Starbucks has a partnership with Arizona State University that allows all eligible U.S. employees to earn a bachelor’s degree through ASU’s online program with full tuition reimbursement. Regardless of the benefits chosen, all partners receive an in-store discount and one free pound of coffee, K-cup pack or tea tin per week. The extent of Starbucks’ part-time benefits places them among the jobs with the best benefits for part-timers. 

8. Kaplan

Eligible part-time employees at Kaplan have access to a third-party company to help them enroll in health insurance, a supplemental hospital plan, life insurance, dental and vision rider options, disability insurance, and prescription discount cards. Part-timers and their immediate families also receive free or discounted Kaplan courses. 

9. Coffee & Bagel Brands

Available for all positions, depending on eligibility, Coffee & Bagel Brands offers competitive benefit packages, including medical, dental and vision. After working at any of the company’s franchises for three months, employees aged 21 and older have access to a 401(k) program, for which the company will match 25 cents for every dollar contributed. Every employee also receives a discount at all company-owned locations. 

10. Cost Plus World Market

Cost Plus World Market offers a limited benefits plan for preventative care, health and wellness for eligible part-time employees. 

What benefits are part-time employees eligible for?

In some cases, employers offer a part-time benefits package similar to those that full-time workers receive. These benefits can include health insurance, workers’ compensation, parental leave, long-term and short-term disability, retirement, unemployment, and vacation. Part-time employee eligibility for these benefits varies by category.

Health insurance part-time benefits

Whereas employers are required to offer benefits to full-time workers, it’s not mandatory for them to offer medical and dental insurance to part-time workers. When they do, they must offer it according to Affordable Care Act (also known as the ACA or Obamacare) standards. Under the ACA, employees who work fewer than 30 hours per week are part-time workers. Your employer may adjust the part-time benefits they offer based on the ACA’s minimum participation requirements. Generally, the only health insurance category unavailable to part-time workers under the ACA are flexible spending accounts.

Workers’ compensation part-time benefits

If taxes are withheld from your paycheck as part of your company’s payroll deduction operations, you’re eligible for workers’ compensation even if you work part-time. Speak with a lawyer to determine whether your on-the-job injury qualifies you for this benefit. [Looking to offer your employees benefits?: Choosing a Professional Employer Organization (PEO)]

Parental leave part-time benefits

If you work part-time for a local, state or federal public employer, then under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), you may be eligible for up to 12 weeks of unpaid parental leave after your child is born. The FMLA also potentially covers you if you work part time for a private-sector company that employs at least 50 people (whether at your exact building or in other offices nearby) during at least 20 weeks of any calendar year. To receive parental leave benefits through the FMLA, you must have worked for your employer for at least 12 months for a total of at least 1,250 hours before your leave begins. 

Disability part-time benefits

You can apply for Social Security short-term or long-term disability benefits if you earn no more than $1,260 per month through your part-time work. If you’re blind, this cap increases to $2,110. These amounts change annually. After you apply for a disability benefits package, the Social Security Administration may look more closely at your case to determine whether it should keep administering benefits to you.

Retirement part-time benefits

If you work 1,000 hours over 12 months, then even if you’re part-time, you’re eligible for the same employee retirement benefits that your employer offers full-time workers. You may be able to meet this yearly work amount if you work at least 20 hours per week with no more than two weeks off during any calendar year.

Unemployment part-time benefits

Whether you qualify for unemployment benefits as a part-time worker varies by state. In Pennsylvania, for example, part-time workers who earn up to 30 percent of their full unemployment benefits rate from their work can still claim unemployment benefits, though the amount of money they receive will be lower. Should their part-time income exceed 30 percent of their full unemployment benefits rate, they forgo their benefits.

Vacation part-time benefits

Some employers offer vacation days to part-time employees. Unlike many other types of benefits, there are no federal provisions that require employers to offer vacation to part-time workers. [Read Related: The Best PEO Service Providers]

What are the pros and cons of a part-time job?

Working a part-time job has its benefits and drawbacks. If you’re considering taking on a part-time job, consider the following pros and cons.

Pros

  • Flexibility: Part-time work is great when you’re looking for flexibility. Maybe you need some extra time to launch your business on the side, or perhaps you already have a full-time job that you want to focus on. Part-time work can supplement your income without requiring the same level of commitment as a full-time job or entrepreneurial venture.
  • Reduced stress: Part-time work can be less demanding than a full-time job or running your own business. While you still have responsibilities and are expected to show up on time and do a good job, working fewer hours means it’s less likely you’ll be expected to take on as much as a full-time employee.
  • Boundaries: Part-time employees generally have other work or obligations outside the workplace, making it easier for them to set boundaries with their employers. This can be especially important if you’re trying to make time to start a business of your own.

Cons

  • Fewer hours: If you’re looking to make more money, part-time work can be helpful — but you’re naturally going to get fewer hours and make less than a full-time employee would. Still, part-time work is better than no work at all, so if you’re in need of a paycheck, it may just be the bridge you need to find something more permanent.
  • Unpredictability: In some cases, part-time workers are treated like substitutes to fill in shifts at the last minute. That’s not to say all part-time jobs are unpredictable, but it’s important to be clear about scheduling expectations before accepting the job. Some employers may expect part-time workers to remain on-call even when they’re not scheduled.
  • Less advancement: Part-time employees may have less opportunity for career advancement than full time workers. This may be alright if you’re busy launching your business or focusing on another career, but if you’re hoping to move up from a part-time role it may be harder to make your mark in fewer hours. 

These pros and cons largely depend upon your circumstances and the employer you’re working for. As with most jobs, your experience working part-time for different employers may vary, so ask plenty of questions during the recruiting and onboarding process so you can know what to expect. There’s no better way to be sure whether a job will be the right fit for you.

Working part-time can have its benefits

Although part-time work is not always thought of as coming with generous benefits packages, part-time positions are available with companies that offer benefits. Whether you’re looking for a side gig as you launch your business or you’re considering extending benefits to part-time employees of your own, it can be helpful to know which companies offer benefits plans to their part-time workers.

Tejas Vemparala and Nicole Fallon contributed to this article.