Employee Benefit Considerations for Part-Time, Temporary, and Seasonal Employees

Employee on laptop


Organizations who have only full-time employees have to craft their benefit offerings with full-time status in mind. However, it’s a little more complicated for some other organizations. Companies that operate with seasonal rushes or unpredictable needs enjoy having a flexible workforce, but this adds yet another layer to their human resources management.

For those who employ part-time, temporary, and/or seasonal employees, there are additional benefit considerations employers have to make. Generally, full-time employees are entitled to the most benefits -- but that doesn’t mean employees of other statuses should have their needs ignored.

Here are some employee benefit considerations to keep in mind for your part-time, temporary, and seasonal employees:

For Part-Time Employees

In most states, part-time employees work fewer than 35 hours per week and are typically paid hourly. Because of that, they often aren’t entitled to the same level of benefits as full-time employees.

Here are benefit considerations for part-time employees:

  • The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) applies to part-time employees. They are treated the same as full-time employees in regards to minimum wage, overtime pay, and child labor.
  • OSHA’s health and safety regulations apply to part-time employees.
  • Part-time employees who work 1,000 hours or more in a calendar year may be eligible for retirement benefits under ERISA.
  • For plan years beginning after December 31, 2020, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act requires employers to allow part-time employees to contribute to an employer-sponsored 401(k) plan, as long as they are 21 years of age or older and have worked at least 500 hours a year for three consecutive years.

 For Temporary Employees

Temporary employees can work either part-time or full-time hours filling in a temporary gap in the workforce. The most common need for temporary employees comes from covering maternity or disability leave, although it can really apply to any temporary coverage need.

The biggest consideration for temporary employees is that they are likely working the same amount of hours as your permanent, full-time employees -- some may even be actively pursuing permanent employment at your company.

Here are additional considerations for temporary employees:

  • Temporary employees are also covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act and OSHA regulations.
  • The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) can apply to some temporary employees, depending on circumstances around the hiring and working conditions of the employee.
  • Additional specific benefit requirements for temporary employees may vary by state.

For Seasonal Employees

Seasonal employees are a great solution for companies that have a traditional and easily trackable fluctuation between busy and slow seasons and want to use resources in the most efficient way possible. They’re different from temporary employees in that there’s usually a recurring need each year for seasonal employees, whereas temporary employees are hired on an ad hoc basis.

 Other differences and considerations for seasonal employees include:

  • Seasonal employees are to be treated equally under FLSA in regards to wage, overtime, recordkeeping, workplace safety, and health policies.
  • Additional specific benefit requirements for seasonal employees may vary by state.

Additional Considerations

Additionally, there are some considerations for all non-full time employees:

  • Executive Order 13706 requires certain contractors to provide paid sick leave to all employees, regardless of how many hours worked.
  • The Service Contract Act and the Davis Bacon and Related Acts require federal contractors to provide certain fringe benefits to all employees

Having part-time, temporary, and/or seasonal employees on board can really help companies meet fluctuating needs. It’s important for organizations to take the time to consider the needs of each type of employee and make sure they are getting appropriate benefits when applicable.

If your human resources team needs assistance in crafting a benefits plan that’s inclusive of employees of all statuses, reach out to the team at Clarity Benefit Solutions to speak with an expert who can help.