Temporary vs. Part-time Work

Image of Susan Wittan
Susan Wittan

In today’s blog let’s look at the difference between temporary and part-time work.  These two concepts can sometimes be confused with each other.

Part-time employees always work less than a full-time workweek. Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) defines part-time work as someone “who works 1 to 30 hours a week.”  Part-time employees generally work on a regular schedule. This schedule may change but the employment relationship is ongoing and indefinite.  Most companies will directly hire part-time employees. Historically, many companies do not offer part-time employees health or other benefits. Many states and jurisdictions have implemented mandatory sick leave for part-time, W2 employees.

Temporary work is generally sporadic and not governed by a fixed or regular schedule. In the production industry we tend to refer to this as project based or day hire work. Some businesses and government agencies hire their own temporary employees directly while others prefer to use companies that provide this service such as TeamPeople.

Many companies that initially hire their own “temporary employees” start to utilize these individuals in a manner that blurs the line between being a temporary employee or a part-time employee. In some cases the line may even start to blur with these individuals working in a manner that appears to be close to full-time. That is when the risks increase that the employee may be misclassified.

Most companies pay their part-time employees via their payroll system and withhold the appropriate federal, state and local taxes. They also pay workman’s compensation on these individuals. The use of temporary workers typically includes issues related to determining whether the person is an independent contractor or an employee. This impacts whether they are paid via payroll or through the payable system. We will examine this issue in another blog.


At TeamPeople, our roots are in the broadcast production industry. We like to say we are media people staffing media people. The principals and staff at TeamPeople have years of experience in the industry as producers, editors, broadcast engineers, production managers, and in related management, creative and technical positions. As members of the production and AV community we understand the staffing issues faced by our clients in today’s competitive environment.

We are also a staffing company and members of the American Staffing Association. Through our involvement with this organization, we stay current with employment laws and topics of interest to our clients such as co-employment and changes in health care laws.

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