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The Difference Between Part Time and Full Time Employee Wages

Whether you are hiring new employees or are looking for a job, it’s important to know the difference between part time jobs and full time jobs. As these two classifications will have an impact on benefits paid, hours worked, training, insurance, taxes and more. 

Part Time vs. Full Time Employees

The most basic difference between part-time and full-time employees is the number of hours they work and while employers have some wiggle room, there are specific labour laws that determine how businesses classify employees. 


Full-time employees will give your business security in scheduling, regularity in product or service flow, and overall consistency for your labour management. On the other hand, part time employees will save your company money because you won't have to pay as much staff when there are dips in workflow or offer healthcare and other benefits. 


Part-time employees are usually paid by the hour, which means they are responsible for “clocking in” and “clocking out” at the beginning and end of their shifts. They may also be asked to submit a timesheet at the end of every week to make sure they are paid for all the time that they work. 


Full-time employees may get paid by the hour just like part-time employees, or they may receive a salary.


Canadian Pension Plan

Employees, employers, and self-employed individuals must contribute to the Canadian Pension Plan. Employers must contribute by deducting a certain percentage of an employee’s wage and certain employees are exempt from this, like employees who make less than $3,500 a year. The amount an employee receives from their pension after they turn 65 depends on how much they made throughout their working years and how much they worked.

Employment insurance 

Employers must make contributions for Employment Insurance based on the earnings of all employees. Generally, employers will take out a specific percentage of their employees’ wages while also contributing themselves to the employees’ premiums. Such employer contributions are deductible for income tax purposes. In return, employees may draw benefits in the event of unemployment.



Full Time Jobs

The Canadian Labour Code contains a guideline of standard hours, which describes a period of eight hours a day to a total of 40 hours per week (anything over this is considered overtime). However full time employment is defined as work of 30 hours or more per week. 


Canadian labour laws state that employers have a set of mandatory benefits they must give to their employees.This means that as an employer, you are responsible for knowing and following these standards. Failure to do so will result in a pretty hefty fine, so it’s important to keep track of the standards that are in place (specific regulations may vary from province to province). 


Full time employee benefits include: 

Time off/vacation

The amount of time an employee is allowed for vacation or time off will depend on the Province worked in. For example, in British Columbia, workers are entitled to 2 weeks paid vacation after they have been employed for 1 year and 3 weeks vacation after they have been employed for 5 years. This does not include any of the 10 national statutory holidays. Employers are responsible for ensuring employees take the minimum amount of vacation they are allotted every year. 


According to a recent study, Canadians have the lowest allotments of paid vacation days in comparison to other first-world countries. Where Canadians sit around an average of 10, other countries are closer to 30. This means if you want to appeal to new talent, offering more vacation days than what’s required is a plus. Additionally, workers that come back to work after a vacation are more productive and engaged than usual, making it a win-win. 



Sick leave 

Depending on the benefits package, sick leave can be paid or unpaid. In some cases, employees will need to provide a doctor's note justifying the situation. The statutory workers' compensation can help employees who suffered a  work-related injury or illness and can be financially compensated by their employers.



Employees whose weekly wages reduce by over 40% may benefit from government employment insurance sickness benefits. Employees in all jurisdictions can also go on unpaid sick leave. The sick leave length depends on your jurisdiction. For instance, employees in Québec have the most generous paid sick leave regulations. They can be absent from work for up to 26 weeks over 12 months.


In Alberta and British Columbia, employees are entitled to 5 unpaid days each 12-month period covering sick leave or family responsibility leave. 


For more information about specific time off amounts for different provinces, visit: https://workplace.ca/laws/index.html 

Maternity/paternity pay—maternity benefits (except Quebec)

Benefits are payable to the biological mother (including surrogate mother) only, for a maximum of 15 weeks. A woman may elect to receive benefits at any time from the 12th week preceding the expected week of delivery, or from the week of delivery. The leave can end as late as 17 weeks after the expected due date, or the week the delivery occurs.

Part Time Jobs 

The CCSD defines anything less than 30 hours per week as part time work. However, this is the federal guideline, and each province and territory has their own labour standards. For example, in Alberta, the definition of part-time hours is anything less than 30 hours worked per week for a single employer. Whereas in Ontario, there are no specified criteria.


If you are a part-time employee, you are not paid for designated paid holidays, but is instead paid a premium. Refer to the relevant authorities such as your collective agreement or the various terms and conditions of employment specific to your classification for the applicable premium rate.


Once the Public Service Pay Centre has received notification of part-time employment, they will provide a letter detailing the effects that the reduced hours will have on your pay, leave, insurances and other benefits.


If you work one-third or fewer hours than the normal full-time workweek (as your relevant authorities have ruled), your eligibility for different benefits are subject to change. A part-time status affects eligibility for dental care, and disability insurance. The Pay Centre will give you a letter explaining what the eligibility criteria is to various plans.

With the QuickBooks Online payroll feature, you can pay employees directly from QuickBooks. Additionally, with the employee portal, employees can track their vacation days and view their pay stubs online; therefore saving you time since you don’t have to manually distribute important documents yourself. Try QuickBooks Online today and explore the vast amount of features that will help your small business flourish. 


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