The BBC popped into our office this month to interview us regarding the proposed flexible parental leave that may come in in 2015; and we were filmed for The Daily Politics (no I didn’t manage to get a mug!).
We have mixed views on it, it could mean that Mum’s are out for a shorter period which is good news for the employer, however, if the leave is extremely flexible, i.e. Mum takes a few months, then Dad, then Mum again it could become a bit of an administrative headache to coordinate and cover for. However, this prompted me to remind myself of the advantages of having part time employees in our team.
In a small team, having part time employees may enable you to have a greater diversity of skills. If you have a limited budget for one head, you could decide to hire a part time bookkeeper and a part time personal assistant for example. Instead of limiting yourself to just one or the other you get both, and as your business grows you have the option of increasing their hours as required.
There can be cost savings by hiring part time staff, as each employee has a national insurance (NI) allowance, your overall employer’s NI bill may be less by having part time staff. Employer’s NI doesn’t kick-in until you pay your employee £144 per week, and at 13.8%, this could be a considerable cost saving.
Adam is considering whether to hire Laura full time who would be paid £1,000 per month, or Kathy at £500 per month and Jacqui at £500 per month. Overall the cost looks the same, however, consider the Employer’s NI bill:
- Laura @ £1,000 per month would cost Adam £51.89 per month for Employer’s NI
- Kathy @ £500 per month would cost Adam £0 per month Employer’s NI
- Jacqui @ £500 per moth would cost Adam £0 per month Employer’s NI
The biggest consideration of having multiple part time employees is the potential additional management time for looking after a larger number of staff. However, this can also give you the opportunity to start giving your most senior employees more management responsibility and experience.
I find the flexibility of part time staff is one of the biggest advantages. During peak periods it is then possible to increase their hours, and there are more staff available for holiday, parental or sick cover.
There are many advantages of employing part time employees. Just plan and consider which positions in your organisation could be the most appropriate to be part time or potentially a job-share. If organised well, part time staff can be a massive benefit to your business.