What are Full-Time Hours? Detailed Explanation

what is full time hours
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Determining how many hours constitute full-time employment can be useful for both employees and employers in determining their respective rights and duties at work. The following tutorial discusses how to determine how many hours are full-time versus part-time workers and how this affects workers’ rights and benefits.

The Meaning of Full-Time Hours

In reality, full-time employment is determined by your company and corporate policy. There is no statutory definition of it. The only exception is in the case of health insurance. It is covered by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Typically, your company establishes specific work hours for you. The employee handbook will specify the working hours and the number of hours required per week. If the organisation follows best practises for full-time employment, this is the case.

If you’re wondering how many hours there are in a week, they’re required. Employers often keep them between 30 and 50 hours per week, with a weekly average of 40. The Bureau of Labour Statistics established 35 hours per week as the norm for full-time employment, however this is not required by law.

Companies that use 50-hour work weeks often use them only for salaried (exempt) employees.

What Qualifies as Full-time Versus Part-time Work?

There is no fixed formula for determining what constitutes full-time or part-time work, and there is no legal minimum or maximum number of hours required before someone is designated a full-time or part-time worker. Instead, the legislation establishes a rather broad definition of what defines a full-time or part-time worker depending on local conventions and practises.

The Part-time Workers (Prevention of Unfavourable Treatment) Regulations 2000, in particular, state that a worker is a full-time worker if:

“…s/he is paid wholly or in part by reference to the time s/he works and, having regard to the custom and practise of the employer in relation to workers employed by the worker’s employer under the same type of contract, is identifiable as a full-time worker”.

The 2000 Regulations go on to state that a worker is classified as part-time if:

“…if s/he is paid wholly or in part by reference to the time s/he works and, having regard to the custom and practise of the employer in relation to workers employed by the worker’s employer under the same type of contract, is not identifiable as a full-time worker”.

In practise, this often indicates that a full-time worker is someone who performs a specified amount of contracted hours for their specific sort of work based on the company’s or organization’s normal working practises.

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Even while many people consider anything between 35 and 40 hours to be a full-time working week, the amount of hours a full-time worker is required to work varies depending on their company. In some circumstances, it is less; in others, it may be greater.

There is no legally mandated amount of hours for full-time employment, and companies are free to determine how many hours per week are deemed full-time. The hours that employees are required to work are normally specified in the company’s working hours policy and/or in individual employment contracts.

As a result, for the type of work and workplace in question, a part-time worker is someone who works fewer contracted hours than a full-time worker. This might be where someone works less than 35 hours per week, for example.

How Can Full or Part-time Status be Decided?

When a person is employed for a job, they are usually informed of their employment status and eligibility for contractual benefits, depending on whether they will be working full-time or part-time. What constitutes full-time work will be determined by the individual employer based on the customs and practises of their firm or organisation.

If someone is classified as working part-time and is treated unfairly as a result, they have a statutory right to a written explanation from their employer upon request. The employer has 21 days to respond to such a request.

If the part-time employee is not convinced that the reason supplied was objectively justifiable, they may be able to file a claim with an employment tribunal.

Can Any Full-time Employee Opt Out of the Weekly Cap?

Employees can freely opt out of the cap by writing a brief statement. An employee declares in this statement that they freely choose to work more than 48 hours per week. By opting out, you also agree to notify your employer if your mind changes. The normal time to cancel your commitment is seven days. However, depending on your contract, this period of notice could last up to three months.

Even if the agreement was part of the initial employment contract, an employer cannot compel you to remain bound by it. An employer cannot legally compel you to cancel your opt-out agreement.

What Are Some Benefits of Working Full Time?

While full-time and part-time employees must be treated similarly and appropriately in terms of salary, opportunity, and benefits, there are certain intangible benefits to committing to full-time hours. Here are some of the benefits you may receive if you choose a full-time job contract:

#1. Your full-time work hours are consistent.

This is a major reason why many employees prefer the security and stability of a defined schedule and pay. While a part-time employee’s schedule may vary to meet the demands of the business, a full-time position ensures that you receive your full monthly wage regardless of temporary business changes. The ability to rely on a consistent salary goes a long way towards providing employees with peace of mind.

#2. Greater job security

While an employer cannot give a full-time employee preferential treatment over a part-time employee, you are more likely to stay a job if you are committed to the hours full-time.

If you commit to only one job, you will likely become more skilled in your work faster than if you divide your focus among many possibilities, as part-time employees frequently do. As an employee who works at least the minimal number of hours required for full-time employment, you are likely to become a vital part of the workflow. If your customers or employer can rely on you to be there during all business hours, you are more likely to be retained when times are tough.

#3. Financial inducements

Even when business is good, there are advantages to working full-time hours. These incentives take the shape of increased pay and bonuses. A job’s compensation and bonus rates cannot fluctuate based on whether you work full-time or part-time. The pro-rata rule, however, applies to all financial incentives.

This means that if you work full-time, you are maximising your overall pay package (wage plus bonuses). When you work full-time hours, you become the standard against which the company’s benefit distribution is judged. A track record of dedication to the organisation can put you ahead in salary negotiations.

#4. Getting the full benefits

In terms of benefits, as a full-time employee, you get the lion’s share and can take advantage of all incentive programmes and work benefits. Time off, parental and paternal leave, paid holidays, healthcare, and any educational benefits are often designed with you in mind. Part-time employees frequently have to make additional concessions in order to receive their proportionate share of perks.

#5. Increased chances of promotion and advancement

It comes as no surprise that full-time employees are more likely to be chosen for advancement. It is prohibited to treat full-time employees preferentially. Still, with more time on the job and more regular practise at the work, the full-timer may be able to gain more experience and improve their talents more quickly.

increased expertise frequently entails increased responsibility, and elevating the more skilled person makes management sense. Furthermore, the newly qualified employee is more useful to the organisation if they work longer hours per week. Being able to respond fast to a customer or client is a strategic advantage in many businesses. When clients call, having a professional and experienced staff available generates considerable value for both the client and the firm.

Can Treating Part-time Workers Less Favourably Ever be Justified?

The right of a part-time worker not to be treated less favourably than a full-time worker applies only if the less favourable treatment is based solely on the fact that the worker is part-time, ‘and’ the treatment cannot be justified objectively.

As a result, there may be limited circumstances in which an employer can demonstrate a compelling cause for not treating a part-time employee the same as a full-time employee. This means that if the employer can demonstrate that the reason for the variation in treatment is necessary to achieve a legitimate goal and that this is the most appropriate and proportionate manner to fulfil a genuine business necessity, the normal protection granted to part-time workers will not apply.

An example of objective justification would be if a part-time worker is denied complimentary health club membership because it is not possible to prorate this benefit and the costs of providing free membership in full are disproportionate to the benefits that part-timers are entitled to. This justification might also be used to provide health insurance coverage. In any situation, the employer should investigate any possible option, such as asking part-time employees to contribute to the cost.

In particular, the law states that a part-time worker paid at a lower rate for overtime worked is not treated less favourably than any comparable full-time worker in circumstances where they are required to work the same number of hours before being entitled to an enhanced rate. This means that part-time employees may not receive overtime compensation until they have worked more hours than a full-time employee, as determined by custom and practise in that business.

Overtime Policies for Full-time Hours Employees

There are no federally set overtime pay criteria, as long as it does not go below the minimum wage. Each business must explicitly and in writing disclose their overtime pay policy. To compete for talent, employers frequently choose to give a greater rate of pay for overtime work. This is especially true when it comes to working on weekends and holidays. Nonetheless, unlike the 48-hour average workweek cap, offering a specific overtime wage is not required by the labour legislation.

In this scenario, a full-time employee has a slight edge. A part-time employee may be required to work additional hours to meet a corporate demand. They are not, however, entitled for overtime pay unless they work longer hours than the standard contractually specified by full-time employees. As a result, if a part-time employee is contracted for 20 hours and asked to work 32 hours per week, they will be paid less than a full-time employee who is committed for 35 hours and working more.

How Many Hours a Day is a Full-time Job?

What constitutes a full-time job is determined by how many hours are considered full-time in relation to an employer’s custom and practise for a specific sort of work. This is normally computed on a weekly basis and can range from 30 to 40 hours per week, while a full-time worker would often work 35 hours or more per week.

Is 28 Hours Full time?

There is no legal minimum for determining what constitutes full-time hours, and it is up to the individual employer to determine what constitutes a full or part-time contract. A full-time worker in the UK, on the other hand, will often work 35 hours or more each week.

Is 30 Hours a Week Full-time UK?

A 30-hour week is not considered full-time in the UK, albeit much depends on what is common custom and practise for the specific type of work performed in the industry in question. In the United Kingdom, a 30-hour week is considered part-time.

Is 50 Hours a Week Too Much?

Working 50 hours per week on average is considered excessive in a country where the legal weekly maximum is 48 hours. However, an employee may opt out of this weekly limit, or an employer may request that an employee work more than 48 hours on occasion, as long as their hours are later decreased to balance out their average weekly hours within the legal limit during the pertinent reference period.

In the United Kingdom, the Working Time Regulations (WTR) implemented the WTD by allowing employers to give a 48-hour rest time in a 14-day reference period rather than a 24-hour rest period in a seven-day reference period.


There are no hard and fast guidelines regarding how many hours one must work to be considered full-time, especially in the creative sectors. It all comes down to your abilities and how they can assist a firm.

Although most part-time jobs do not require you to work more than thirty hours a week, it can be beneficial if a job also offers full-time hours.

Furthermore, full-time hours allow more opportunities to develop a job into a vocation and earn more money. However, before accepting a job offer, you should thoroughly understand the terms.


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