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What’s the difference between part-time and contract work?

Wondering what the difference is between part-time and contract work? Let’s explore the features and benefits of each one!

What’s the difference between part-time and contract work?

In today’s working world, there are several ways to earn your keep. As a result, there are a few different work contracts to consider as part of your job search. Depending on your skills and lifestyle, you may opt for a part-time job, or you may want to be a contractor instead.

As a part-time employee, you’ll be limited to working less than 35 hours per week. This could either be under a permanent or temporary contract. As a contractor, you’re not classed as an employee but can still work either part-time or unlimited hours per week. 

What is a part-time employee?

As a part-time employee, you’ll work less than 35 hours per week. Whether you’re hired on a permanent or a temporary basis, you’ll be entitled to certain benefits like paid annual leave and pension contributions. The agency/company that hired you is responsible for deducting any applicable taxes from your wages.

Features of part-time jobs

As a part-time employee, you could be:

  • On a permanent or a temporary contract
  • Working less than 35 hours per week
  • Employed either by the company directly or through an agency

Benefits of part-time work

  • You work less hours than a full-time employee to suit your schedule
  • You receive paid holiday entitlement up to 28 days per year
  • If on a permanent contract, you have more job stability

What is contract work?

Contractors are hired by companies or agencies to carry out a specific task. There is no limit as to how long the contractor can be hired by the company. They could complete their work in a week or it may take 2 years. Contractors tend to work more hours per week than PAYE who are limited to an average of 48 hours per week, although contractors could also work on a part-time basis.

Features of contract work

If you were to work as a contractor, you would be:

  • Potentially only working for a fixed period of time to complete a task/project
  • Hired directly by the company or through an agency
  • Able to work an unlimited number of hours per week
  • Responsible for paying your own taxes and national insurance

Benefits of contract work

  • You generally earn a higher rate per hour than employees
  • You get to work on a variety of projects
  • You can easily move to a different client if you’re not enjoying the work

Find your groove

Full-time work doesn’t suit everyone, so you may be better off taking a look at some part-time jobs instead. Many companies offer some form of part-time work, whether that be on a permanent or contractual basis. The hours will differ from company to company, so always be sure to read the employment contract and ask the employer/agency and questions before signing on the dotted line!

If you’re still trying to work out which way to take your career, be sure to read our blog on figuring out your dream career.

Thinking of leaving your current job? Check out our post on knowing how long to stay in a job for.



2 years ago



2 years ago

All ready now but is good getting a second opinion 😃 maybe some think missing.Thank you.

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