Today, many workers work part time while balancing other moneymaking opportunities, like creative work or freelance gigs. Part-time employment typically consists of a minimum 20 hours (but under 40) of work per week. This convenient schedule is attractive to many, especially those who earn a decent profit in contract work on the side.
However, it's difficult to achieve stability without a full-time position. At many companies, only full-timers who work at least 40 hours a week are eligible for perks like health insurance and a 401(k) plan. That leaves part-timers to fend for themselves, spending valuable funds on low-quality health insurance or trying to set money aside for retirement.
Thankfully, some large employers extend benefits to their part-time staff – an initiative that is becoming more conventional. Here are 10 companies that offer great benefits to part-time workers.
Not only does Chipotle provide its part-time workers health, vision, dental and wellness coverage – it also matches their 401(k) contributions after one year of employment and offers discounts to all workers. Additionally, full- and part-time employees are eligible for educational assistance through Guild Education. With this program, workers can save up to 99 percent on college costs and earn up to 44 credit hours.
Many part-time Macy's employees are eligible for health and retirement benefits, flexible schedules, and on-the-job training. Employees also get discounts on all Macy's merchandise, but possibly the most unique benefit is the opportunity to be in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
At REI, part-time employees who work over 20 hours a week for over 12 months are eligible for competitive benefit packages where they can choose from various medical plans for themselves and their dependents. The company covers most of the costs for the medical plan and all the costs for its basic life and disability plans.
There are additional options like vision care, orthodontia and long-term care coverage as well. REI also offers employees discount programs (50 percent off REI gear and apparel, 30 percent off vendor merchandise, and 10 percent off sale items), Yay Days (one day off every six months for outdoor activities) and challenge grants (to put toward goals like climbing Mt. Everest).
Although hourly part-timers at Costco must wait longer than full-time employees for benefits 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 matching employer contribution; discounts on prescription medication; child care assistance; and life insurance. Employee premium portions or costs are withheld pretax.
Lowe's Home Improvement offers eligible part-time workers numerous benefits, including medical, dental, and vision insurance as well as life and disability insurance. The company also offers health and wellness programs, plus learning and development programs.
Staples' plan for part-time workers includes vision and dental benefits, life and dependent life, accidental death, short-term disability, and a 401(k) plan.
All Starbucks employees, or "partners," are entitled to their choice of multiple coverage levels for medical, dental, and vision plans; life insurance; disability; and accident coverage. They might also be eligible for comprehensive healthcare and dependent 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 has a partnership with Arizona State University that allows all eligible U.S. employees to earn a bachelor's degree through ASU's online program with full tuition reimbursement. 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.
Eligible part-time employees at Kaplan have access to a third-party company to help them enroll in health insurance, a supplemental hospital plan, life insurance, dental and vision rider options, disability insurance, and prescription discount cards. Part-timers and their immediate family also receive free or discounted Kaplan courses.
9. Coffee & Bagel Brands
Available for all positions, depending on eligibility, Coffee & Bagel Brands offers competitive benefit packages to choose from, including medical, dental and vision. After working at any of the company's franchises for three months, employees age 21 and older have access to a 401(k) program, for which the company will match 25 cents for every dollar contributed. And, of course, each employee receives a discount at all company-owned locations.
10. Cost Plus World Market
Cost Plus World Market offers a limited benefits plan for preventative care, health and wellness for eligible part-time employees.
Additional reporting by Nicole Fallon and Marci Martin.