They are 2 prominent types of work contracts present in the workplace with some very glaring distinctions between them. So, what is the difference between casual work v part time? Discover this and more by reading on!
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Casual Work v Part Time
The below table highlights the key differences between casual work v part time.
|Number of hours
|Worker can accept as many hours as they desire
|Less than 35 hours a week
|Working hours flexibility
|More flexible, may be set based on assignments
|Usually fixed hours and set times/days
|Variable and usually lower than a part-time job
|Normal pay rate
|Based on amount of time worked
|Little to no benefits
|Benefits available, it often equates to number of hours worked
|Low, can be terminated without paid notice
|Higher, termination requires paid notice period
The above table highlights some of the most significant differences between casual work v part time. Below, I share with you the must-know factors to consider before opting for either type of work contract. Find out does casual work pay more than part-time and how holidays work! The last thing you want is to be out of pocket or out of work due to an ill-judged decision!
In the US, the Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies an employee as part-time if they “usually work less than 35 hours per week”. Source
Casual Work v Part Time
Number of hours
Casual workers, such as those who work on zero-hour contracts, tend to have more flexible hours and fewer working days to people in a part-time job. This often grants them greater freedom with their work hours than someone with set part-time hours.
Part-time workers are generally bound by certain hours that they are required to work.
This is usually below 35 hours a week. The hours that the worker is required to complete also usually have a set structure, e.g., 8am – 12pm 5 days a week.
Plus, if staff work on longer shift patterns during busy periods, they may have fewer commutes to work and more days off as a result
Working hours flexibility
More flexible tends to exist in casual labor, especially considering that the worker has the choice to accept or reject the work proposed to them.
If they choose to accept the work, it may be set based on covering shifts for a busy period or putting in the hours to meet project deadlines.
Part-time work is usually fixed hours with set times and days.
For instance, a company might establish core working hours where staff must be present.
If you work for a company with a flexible working policy, such as the 4-day work week, annualized hours flexi-time or compressed hours, there will be more freedom with the hours you work.
In 2022, Zip Recruiter reported that the average pay per hour is $15 for a casual worker and $13 for a part-time worker. Annually, this equates to $8,157 extra for a casual worker.
Casual labor pay levels are generally variable and they are usually higher than in a part-time job. But this could work out less when holidays and benefits are added up.
Casual workers tend to receive a casual loading in lieu of leave which can equate to higher pay than a part-time worker.
There is little guarantee of how much you will earn in a year as a casual laborer as hours are not fixed.
Part-time pay rates are normally in line with full-time pay rates. Employees are given a fixed salary for the year and know how much they are going to be paid.
Part-time worker can be unskilled, skilled or professional which makes for higher paying roles.
Pay is only one side of the coin though, the entitlements you could be losing out on with casual employment will be discussed next.
Casual employment offers no holiday entitlements which means there is less structure to when a worker can take their holidays.
In one instance, they may work a small number of hours in the year and have plenty of time off.
On the other hand, they might have a busy year and end up having to rejecting work to allow them to take a break.
This then leads to not taking time off. Or else loss of pay as they don’t receive paid holidays.
Part-time workers are entitled to paid annual leave based on the amount of time they work.
With holiday entitlements, staff can schedule time off without impacting on their wages. That is, provided they don’t exceed their annual leave and have to take unpaid leave.
Either options are a far fry from the benefits of annualized holidays.
Zero-hour contract workers are not entitled to any of the benefits of the company that they work for. This means that they can lose out on health insurance, pension, car allowances etc.
Depending on how good the benefits package is for a company, a casual worker could lose out thousands every year.
Part-time workers are eligible for benefit packages from the company. However, it will be quantified based on the number of hours that the worker receives.
For instance, if full-time work is 40 hours and part-time work is 20 hours, the part-time employee may be eligible for 50% of the benefits.
Tip: Check if you will be getting a casual loading in lieu of holiday and benefits.
Casual labor offers very little job security. There is no guarantee of how long your contract will last or how often you will be given work. Additionally, the contract can be terminated without paid notice.
Lack of a permanent job will not suit individuals who need to secure a mortgage or have dependents who rely on them being paid.
Job security in part-time roles is much higher than in casual employment. Often, people will be given a temporary or permanent contract. With part-time work, termination of the contract requires the employer to provide a paid notice period.
Having this job security eases stress levels, guarantees an annual salary and makes it much easier to secure a loan and pay bills.
Both casual work and part-time work have very strong differences which are likely to be deal breakers when picking a job. Using the above comparison table and tips, you can decide which is the best fit for you!
The job security and wage will probably be the key factors that influence your decision. The terms ‘zero hour contract’ and ‘casual employment’ even lend themselves to sounding insecure.
If you would like to further enhance your knowledge on work setup and organization, I have written some articles that are without a doubt worth a look.
Here are some other useful articles I wrote that you should go check out:
- 4 Day Work Week V 5 Day – Full Of Surprising Facts & Results
- Annualized Hours Explained – Helpful Tips & How It Works!
- How Unlimited Holidays Work – An Insider Guide + FAQs!
- Best 4 Day Work Week Alternatives – 7 Proven Strategies!
- Does 4 Day Work Week Save Companies Money? + Proven Results!