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As an employer, the Federal Government has long recognized the value of part-time employment. Since 1978, the Federal Employees Part-time Career Employment Act has encouraged a greater Federal government commitment to utilizing employees who wish to work less than the traditional 40-hour workweek. The Federal government offers part-time employment opportunities to attract or retain highly qualified employees or those with special skills who may not be able to or may not want to work a full-time schedule or for other reasons. Part-time positions are offered across grade levels, pay plans, and occupational fields.


Part-time federal workers under permanent appointments are eligible, on a prorated basis, for the same benefits as full-time employees: leave, retirement, and health and life insurance coverage. The following describes eligibility, coverage, and limitations.

Leave and Holidays - Employees earn annual and sick leave on a prorated basis depending on the number of hours worked per pay period. Part-time employees are also eligible for other kinds of leave and are covered by the rules governing the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 and the Federal Employees Family-Friendly Leave Act. Part-time federal employees are also entitled to the federal holidays which fall on days the employee is normally scheduled. If a holiday falls on a day the employee normally works, the employee is paid for the number of hours he or she was scheduled to work, not to exceed 8 hours, except for an employee on a compressed work schedule.

Retirement - Retirement annuities are based on an employee’s length of service and the highest annual base pay received for any three consecutive years. Each year of part-time service counts as one full year toward the length of service requirement. However, the annuity calculation for periods of part-time service after April 6, 1986, is prorated to reflect the difference between full-time and part-time service. Employees who are considering a change to a part-time work schedule should obtain an estimate of their retirement benefits from their agency's benefits office.

Health Insurance - Part-time employees who participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program receive the same coverage as full-time employees but pay a greater percentage of the premium because the Government's share is prorated based on the number of hours the employee is scheduled to work each week. For example, an employee on a 20-hour-per-week schedule receives one-half the Government contribution towards the premium.

Life Insurance - A part-time employee is eligible to participate in the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance Program. The amount of insurance for which an employee is eligible is based on the part-time employee's annual salary applicable to his or her tour of duty.

Qualification Determinations - Part-time work is prorated for determining qualification requirements. For example, an employee who works 20 hours a week would receive credit for 6 months of experience at the end of 12 months of work.

Applying for Part-Time Positions

USAJOBS allows job seekers to quickly and easily locate a consolidated list of jobs that are being or may be filled on a part-time basis. Job seekers may easily locate part-time positions on by using the Advanced Search function and electing to view part-time positions.

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This page was last modified on 20 November 2013, at 18:13.

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