September 21, 2000
Part-time employees are much less likely than full-time employees to receive most workplace benefits.
In 1996-97, only 29 percent of part-time employees received paid leave for holidays, compared with 85 percent of full-time employees; 35 percent of part-timers got paid vacation time, versus 91 percent of full-timers.
Among part-time employees, 11 percent participated in medical care benefits and 8 percent in dental care—the corresponding full-time figures were 70 percent and 45 percent. Part-time employees participated in life insurance benefits at a rate of 11 percent and retirement plans at a rate of 20 percent, compared with 74 percent and 62 percent, respectively, for those working full time.
In general, lower participation in benefits among part-time workers may result from their not having been offered the benefit. For insurance and retirement benefits, however, lower participation also may stem from the fact that the lower pay of part-time workers would make them less able to pay for their share of such employer-provided benefits, causing them to decline coverage.
These data on benefits are the products of the Employee Benefits Survey. Read more in "Private Sector Employee Benefits, 1996-97" (PDF 38K), Ann C. Foster, Compensation and Working Conditions, Summer 2000.