As a work-life balance becomes a primary consideration for employees, many professionals are turning to part-time, freelance and contract work rather than committing to one employer. The problem, however, is that these jobs don't always offer the same types of benefit packages as a traditional full-time job.
A growing number of larger companies have begun to recognize the demand for benefits among part-time employees, and now extend insurance coverage, retirement plans, paid time off and other perks to all staff members, regardless of status. Here are 13 companies that offer great benefits to part-time workers.
1. Allegis Group
This staffing firm employs about 10,000 full-time employees, and almost 100,000 contractors and temporary workers. Allegis Group's benefits apply to all temp and contract employees who work at least 20 hours per week and include medical, dental and vision coverage, a 401(k) plan and a profit-sharing bonus. These employees also receive paid sick leave and vacation time accrued on a time-served schedule. [The Best Jobs That Don't Require a College Degree]
2. Barnes & Noble
Aside from discounts on all Barnes & Noble products (including NOOK readers and accessories), part-time employees receive personal days and paid vacation time, holidays and sick days after six months of employment. They also have the option to participate in medical and dental plans, flexible spending accounts and 401(k) saving plans with a matching employer contribution of up to 4 percent.
Although hourly part-timers at Costco have to wait a little longer than full-time employees for benefit eligibility (180 days instead of 90), the national wholesale retailer offers a competitive package that includes health, dental and vision care, a 401(k) plan with employer contribution, discounts on prescription medication, child care assistance and life insurance. Employee premium portions or costs are withheld pretax.
4. JPMorgan Chase
Whether you're working in a bank branch or corporate headquarters, JPMorgan Chase offers benefits to any employee working more than 20 hours a week. Full health care coverage, life and accident insurance, child care assistance, tuition reimbursement, discounts on numerous products and services, and an employer-paid retirement plan are some of the perks for which part-timers are eligible.
5. Land's End
Clothing retailer Land's End offers benefits for all part-time employees in its corporate headquarters or at its more than 300 stores. At Land's End, you can receive auto and home insurance discounts, backup child care center for children and grandchildren, employee purchase programs, access to a group legal plan, reduced-cost eye surgery, and, of course, merchandise discounts.
Lowe's Home Improvement offers eligible part-time workers numerous benefits options that are available from the day they're hired. This includes preventive care medical, dental and vision insurance, life insurance, 401(k) plans and employee stock purchasing plans. The company also offers other benefits such as corporate wellness programs and a commuter spending account.
After one year of service, part-timers at Nike who clear the 20-hour weekly threshold are eligible for a health plan, basic dental and vision coverage, as well as stock purchase plan, 401(k), paid time off, long-term care insurance and a profit-sharing program. All employees who work more than 30 hours per week are eligible for Nike's full-time benefits package.
While Staples' part-time benefit plan is not creditable in terms of the Affordable Care Act, the plan includes limited vision and dental benefits, short-term disability, stock purchase plan, 401(k) plan and an employee-assistance program connecting employees with child-and-elder care, and legal and financial professional services. Employees must work 500 hours in a six-month period to qualify.
All Starbucks employees, or "partners," working 20 or more hours per week are entitled to a specially tailored benefits package to fit their personal needs. Once a partner has worked at least 240 hours over a three-month period, he or she is eligible for comprehensive health care coverage, discounted stock purchase options, 401(k) with match, educational savings and a time-off program. In a precedent-setting move for the fast-food industry, Starbucks recently entered into a partnership with Arizona State University that allows all eligible U.S. employees to earn a bachelor's degree through Arizona State University's online program, with full or partial tuition coverage. Regardless of the benefits chosen, all partners receive an in-store discount and one free pound of coffee, K-cup pack or tea tin per week.
Although paid holidays, vacation time and educational assistance are only available to full-time U-Haul employees, part-timers are still eligible for some benefits. They can enroll in limited-care medical and dental plans, 401(k) and stock ownership plans, and receive travel insurance and U-Haul discounts.
On the UPS website, the company boasts offering "full-time benefits for part-time employees," from health care plans to tuition assistance. Additionally, a variety of insurance programs, flexible spending accounts and work-life balance programs are available to all UPS workers. Part-time employees can also take advantage of the UPS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) or Earn and Learn, which provides up to $5,250 in assistance per calendar year with a lifetime maximum of $25,000.
Although Wegmans currently only operates in the northeastern U.S., it has consistently been named one of Fortune magazine's 100 best companies to work for since its founding in 1998. Based on its benefits program, the company has certainly earned its spot on that list: Health and dental coverage, spending accounts, adoption assistance, wellness programs and retirement plans are all offered to eligible part-time employees.
13. Whole Foods
Paid time off, health and life insurance, and stock option-retirement plans are just a few of the benefits offered to Whole Foods Market employees who work at least 20 hours a week and have completed a probationary employment period. In addition to a competitive compensation package, all employees and their spouses or domestic partners receive a store discount of 20 percent or more.
This article was originally published in 2014 and updated Oct. 30, 2015. Additional reporting by Business News Daily contributor Marci Martin.