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Definition: Number of part-time employees

Structural business statistics

This is a division of the number of employees calculated by reference to the number of hours worked per week for which they are paid; this number of hours is considered in relation to the length of what is considered to be a full-time working week in the Member State or the sector of the unit or the unit itself.

Part-time workers are persons whose usual hours of work are less than the normal working hours. This definition encompasses all forms of part-time work (half-day work, work for one, two or three days a week, etc.). This number may be established at the national, regional, industrial or unit level.

The number of employees may be broken down according to the weekly number of hours which they work. This number of hours is considered in relation to the length of what is regarded as a standard full-time working week in the Member State, region, industry or unit.

It should be noted that whereas the "full-time employee" category is relatively homogeneous, the same cannot be said of the "part-time employee" category since this can cover anything between 20% or even less and 80% or more of the normal working hours of the employing unit.

It is impossible to establish an exact distinction between part-time and full-time work due to variation in working practices between Member States and industries.

Part-time employees (duration of work less than the norm) and intermittent/seasonal employees (who may work full time but for a fixed short period, e.g. temporary workers, film crew etc.) should not be confused.
European Union, Commission Regulation (EC) No 2700/98 of 17 December 1998 concerning the definitions of characteristics for structural business statistics