How Many Hours Is Part Time? [Breakdown By Country]

How many hours is part time?

How many hours per week is part-time in the US?

Generally speaking, a person who works fewer than 30 hours per week would be considered part time in the United States. But there is no set law defining part-time employment hours in the United States.

Various government agencies and acts have given guidance about part-time work:

  • According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics: Fewer than 35 hours per week
  • According to rules set by the Affordable Care Act: Fewer than 30 hours per week
  • According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): Not set (but overtime occurs above 40 hours)

Below, we’ll cover the three main places that companies get guidance about part-time work. Learn more about each to determine how to set part-time hours for your business.

1) US Bureau of Labor Statistics

US Bureau of Labor Statistics - Part Time Hours

Purpose: Statistical, not legal

Part-time work definition:

  • “Full-time workers are those who usually work 35 or more hours per week.”
  • “Part-time workers are those who usually work fewer than 35 hours per week.”

Learn more

 

2) Affordable Care Act

Affordable Care Act - Part Time Hours

Purpose: Guidance for providing healthcare to employees

Part-time work definition:

“For purposes of the employer shared responsibility provisions, a full-time employee is, for a calendar month, an employee employed on average at least 30 hours of service per week, or 130 hours of service per month.”

Therefore, part-time hours would be fewer than 30 per week on average or 130 per month.

Learn more

 

3) Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

FLSA - What is part time work?

Purpose: Labor laws for minimum wage, overtime pay, and more

Part-time work definition:

“The FLSA does not define full-time employment or part-time employment. This is a matter generally to be determined by the employer. Whether an employee is considered full-time or part-time does not change the application of the FLSA.”

FLSA does require employers to pay overtime above 40 hours per week for covered, nonexempt employees. Therefore, the general assumption can be made that full-time work could be considered 40 hours per week and part-time work could be considered fewer than 40 hours per week. None of this is explicitly stated by FLSA, though.

Learn more

 

What Is Considered Full-Time Vs. Part Time In 50 Countries

Below, you’ll find how many hours per week are considered part-time and full-time for the 50 biggest economies in the world. The table is ranked by GDP (biggest economies in the world at the top).

The figures you see are general guidelines about work hours, not labor laws for each country. For example, many countries do not have guidance for the number of hours that determines a part-time employee. Other countries do not provide laws or guidance about part-time work, but it is generally accepted that anything less than full-time could be considered part-time. If you are trying to legally operate within one of these countries, make sure to search the appropriate government websites in each country or talk to a local employment lawyer.

Country 2021 GDP Full-Time Week Part-Time Week Learn More
United States $22,997,500,000,000 > 30 Hours On Average
(130 Hours Per Month)
< 30 Hours
(< 130 Hours Per Month)
irs.gov
China $17,458,040,000,000 40 Hours < 25 Hours hrone.com
Japan $4,937,420,000,000 40 Hours < 40 Hours jetro.go.jp
Germany $4,225,920,000,000 36 – 40 Hours < 30 Hours iamexpat.de
United Kingdom $3,187,630,000,000 > 35 Hours < 35 Hours gov.uk
India $3,177,920,000,000 > 30 Hours < 30 Hours faqs.in.gov
France $2,935,490,000,000 35 Hours < 35 Hours expatica.com
Italy $2,101,280,000,000 40 Hours < 40 Hours accountingbolla.com
Canada $1,990,760,000,000 40 Hours < 40 Hours canada.ca
Korea $1,798,540,000,000 40 Hours < 40 Hours replicon.com
Russia $1,775,550,000,000 40 Hours < 40 Hours replicon.com
Australia $1,633,290,000,000 > 35 Hours < 35 Hours abs.gov.au
Brazil $1,608,080,000,000 40 – 44 Hours < 40 Hours boundlesshq.com
Iran $1,426,300,000,000 44 Hours < 44 Hours faramalaw.com
Spain $1,426,220,000,000 40 Hours < 40 Hours expatica.com
Mexico $1,294,830,000,000 48 Hours < 40 – 48 Hours replicon.com
Indonesia $1,186,070,000,000 40 Hours < 40 Hours replicon.com
Netherlands $1,018,680,000,000 36 – 40 Hours 12 – 36 Hours thelifenet.eu
Saudi Arabia $833,541,000,000 48 Hours < 40 – 48 Hours replicon.com
Switzerland $812,552,000,000 45 Hours 90% Of A Full-Time Employee iamexpat.ch
Turkey $806,804,000,000 45 Hours < 31 Hours turkishlaborlaw.com
Poland $674,127,000,000 40 Hours < 40 Hours boundlesshq.com
Sweden $627,438,000,000 40 Hours < 40 Hours arbetsformedlingen.se
Belgium $599,989,000,000 40 Hours < 40 Hours employment.belgium.be
Thailand $513,165,000,000 48 Hours < 40 – 48 Hours replicon.com
Ireland $498,891,000,000 40 Hours < 35 Hours citizensinformation.ie
Norway $482,437,000,000 40 Hours < 40 Hours nho.no
Israel $481,591,000,000 42 Hours < 42 Hours replicon.com
Austria $477,400,000,000 38.5 Hours < 21 Hours welcomm-europe.eu
South Africa $418,020,000,000 45 Hours < 30 – 35 Hours mywage.co.za
Egypt $402,838,000,000 48 Hours < 40 – 48 Hours hg.org
Singapore $396,992,000,000 44 Hours < 35 Hours mom.gov.sg
Denmark $395,710,000,000 37 Hours < 37 Hours english.ida.dk
Philippines $393,612,000,000 40 Hours < 40 Hours outsourceaccelerator.com
Malaysia $372,754,000,000 45 Hours 30% Of A Full-Time Employee replicon.com
Hong Kong $368,137,000,000 40 Hours < 40 Hours hk.indeed.com
Vietnam $366,201,000,000 48 Hours < 40 Hours mondaq.com
Bangladesh $357,099,000,000 48 Hours < 40 – 48 Hours globalpeoplestrategist.com
Pakistan $347,743,000,000 48 Hours < 40 – 48 Hours paycheck.pk
Chile $316,864,000,000 45 Hours < 31 Hours replicon.com
Colombia $314,268,000,000 48 Hours < 40 – 48 Hours replicon.com
Finland $298,868,000,000 40 Hours < 40 Hours infofinland.fi
Romania $283,476,000,000 40 Hours < 40 Hours replicon.com
Czech Republic $282,641,000,000 40 Hours < 40 Hours replicon.com
Portugal $250,053,000,000 40 Hours < 40 Hours boundlesshq.com
New Zealand $247,685,000,000 35 – 40 Hours < 35 Hours employment.govt.nz
Peru $224,725,000,000 48 Hours < 21 Hours bizlatinhub.com
Greece $216,384,000,000 40 Hours < 40 Hours replicon.com


Please note: Buildremote has provided this information as general guidance for what’s considered the normal full-time and part-time work week in each country. Do not treat these numbers as legal advice. If you are looking to better understand the labor laws in each country, search the appropriate government websites in each country. 

 

Additional Work Week Resources

If you’d like to learn more about the average work week by country and alternative styles of work week, we’ve got you covered. Here some related articles to continue your research:

About the author

Henry OLoughlin

Hi, I'm the founder of Buildremote. I have worked from home for a decade and ran a fully remote, four-day work week company for eight years. I've made all of the mistakes running a distributed team. I hope if you read my work, you'll be spared.

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