If you are trying to find a job or have been tracking vacancies at job boards for the last few months then you may have noticed an increasing number of part-time offers. Don’t wonder – the percentage of half-time employers is increasing worldwide. According to the George Mason University’s Mercatus Center report, 97% of new vacancies in the USA offered part-time employment in 2013.

But why the amount of part-time vacancies has been increasing so dramatically for the last few years? At one point, it’s attributable to one’s aspiration to achieve work and personal commitments balance (including parental and caring responsibilities). Thus, only 1,5 of 8 mln part-time workers in the UK are employed on a half-time basis just because they didn’t manage to find a full-time job, as UK National Statistic reports.

Experts consider that in the US this trend was driven by the President Barack Obama’s signature the health care law. Employers say that part-time workers will provide them reduced flexibility in expenses regulation. If economy picks up then they’ll be able to turn workers to full time.

Generally, part-time job is not as bad as it seems to be. Part timers are those who work less hours a day or a week than full-day employees. Labor contract defines the minimum number of working hours and treatments for every certain half-time worker. Part-time employers’ rights are secured in legislation in all civil countries. Almost all companies have trade unions, where workers can get free primary help and legal advice. Multiple Labor Relations Agencies and local Citizens Advice Bureaus also propose gratuitous help in employee rights protection.

In case of any issues surrounding part-time worker treatment he or she can contact his management in writing. If in 21 working days the case is not solved properly, he should address employment tribunal and legal entities, listed above.

Part time workers, similar to full-time ones, have to be paid guaranteed pays, such as pay rates, sick pays, maternity, paternity and adoption leave and pay, benefits, pensions and holidays. As a rule, part-timer salary and other basic rights are signed in the labor contract. Employer is allowed to define part-time treatments on the fixed or on the pro-rata basis.

Besides, in some cases unequal treatment for part-time workers is objectively justified. For instance, employer has a right not to provide part-timer with health insurance as its amount is not compatible with benefits the employee is entitled to. Here, part-time worker can recompense employer additional expenses.

All employees, both full and part time ones, have a right for specified number of holidays. Normally the number of annual holidays for part-timers is calculated on the pro-rata basis too. Practically employers provide full-time workers with enlarged number of holidays that statutory amount states. The law doesn’t prohibit employer to treat half-time workers the same way.

To sum up

If you are trying to find a job, a job of your dream, which will afford you to spend some time for your personal needs, then why not to try part-time? As we saw above, these employees’ rights are legislatively protected and they receive equal treatments compared to the full-timers. Yet there are some negative aspects in being employed a part-time job. Empirical evidences show that part timers are often excluded from training programs; they have fewer career opportunities and shorter labor experience for pension compensation. In addition, supplementary payments and social protection benefits are generally not paid to part-timers.

To sum up positively, the Institute of Leadership and Marketing (UK) research shows that part time workers less often complain of health problems and they have more chance to achieve work-life balance. Probably next time you’ll look carefully at the part-time vacancy you see at the job board.