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Part-time employment is rapidly growing in New Zealand as a viable and attractive arrangement for employees and employers alike. Part-time work is perfect for a range of skilled workers who may not seek full-time work for their own reasons and circumstances. Businesses can benefit from this bigger pool of workers and better tailoring of employees to roles. However, as with any type of employment, there are both advantages and disadvantages to consider. This article sets out the pros and cons of part-time employment for your business to consider.

The Pros

Expanded Talent Pool

Part-time work allows employees to work a reduced number of hours, for instance, 10, 15 or 25 per week. Consequently, the talent pool available and interested in part-time work can be quite large and offer a broader base for your business when scoping for new roles. Think about parents with small children and childcare responsibilities or students with study commitments. Likewise, there is a range of people whose life circumstances and preferences may mean they may only be able to work part-time hours. Therefore, offering part-time roles can be a massive advantage for your business. You will be able to access the skills and experience of a different set of prospective workers, to complement your business’ permanent employees. 

Role Tailoring

Additionally, offering part-time roles allows you to tailor roles to specific part-time workers. This is because the hours worked is significantly less for those employees. Your business can then reap the benefits of this greater specialisation. 

For instance, you may be interested in improving your business’ social media brand and getting new personnel in your business to do so. However, this may not be 40 hours’ worth of work per week. A part-time employee can be the perfect solution. You could hire a student to work 20 hours a week while they also study at university. This arrangement can be more efficient and cheaper than hiring a new full-time worker when you are only looking for a part-time contribution towards that piece of work. 

The Cons

More Logistical Management

On the other hand, part-time work can involve additional costs and logistics on behalf of an employer. By the nature of their employment, part-time employees will not be working every hour of every day at your business. Therefore, you may need to do some extra juggling to manage these workers, particularly when you have several of them. For instance, it can be challenging to schedule all-team meetings and training when some employees work two or three days a week. 

Remember to use Zoom and other remote teleconferencing technologies as a tool to help with these management issues. It may be that an employee can just Zoom into a meeting for an hour on a day they are not working if they need to join. 

Less Interaction 

Another common issue with part-time employees is that it can be a bit more challenging to build a strong team culture when employees are not face-to-face with each other all the time. Generally, this is a manageable issue, and sound management or your HR team can address work culture issues. However, your part-time employees will not be having as many watercooler conversations as your full-time employees. Therefore, you may need to work extra hard to ensure part-time staff properly and genuinely integrate into your business and team culture.

Key Takeaways

Part-time work can be an excellent option for your business to consider. This is especially if there is a role or workstream that can suit a person working less than full-time each week. A part-time arrangement is not only suitable for student or parent employees. It can also be a net positive for your business. You can access a broader talent pool and tailor specific jobs to specific part-time employees. Do be aware that part-time work can require more logistical management from your business, particularly in building a positive team culture and scheduling. If you want to know more about part-time employees and managing the logistics in a team, contact LegalVision’s employment lawyers on 0800 005 570 or complete the form on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the legal definition of part-time work?

Employment legislation does not define what full-time or part-time work is. Generally, though, full-time work is around 35 to 40 hours a week. Part-time work is around 30 hours or less in most cases.

What is the extended talent pool for part-time workers?

This is a common reference to many workers who will seek part-time work instead of full-time work for their own personal circumstances or reasons. Common examples include parents looking to balance work with childcare responsibilities and students looking for work to fit alongside their studies.

Is it harder to retain part-time employees compared to full-time employees?

Often, businesses find it easier to retain part-time employees compared to full-time equivalents. Part-time work can require a commitment from the employer to allow the employee to fit their work around their other commitments or schedules (such as school or university classes). Not all businesses will offer this flexibility, and employees tend to value these arrangements when available to them.

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